Scent-Trained Dog Sniffs Out Thyroid Cancer

Frankie the cancer-sniffing dog and Ferrando
Courtesy of UAMS
Frankie sits for Arny Ferrando, PhD, a lead investigator for the study.

A new study found that Frankie, a rescued German Shepherd mix, was able to accurately detect whether patients' urine samples had thyroid cancer or were benign about 88 percent of the time. "Scent-trained canines could be used by physicians to detect the presence of thyroid cancer at an early stage and to avoid surgery when unwarranted," said the study's senior investigator, Donald Bodenner, MD, PhD, chief of endocrine oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. The dog’s diagnostic accuracy is only slightly less than that of fine-needle aspiration biopsy, which is generally used to test for thyroid cancer. The study was presented at the Endocrine Society’s annual meeting. Bodenner said they plan to expand the program by working with the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. — Read it at Science Daily


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