Navigation Links
Dog Sniffs Out Prostate Cancer in Small Study
Date:6/1/2010

Researchers believe canines have a role to play in disease detection

TUESDAY, June 1 (HealthDay News) -- New research suggests that dogs can sniff out signs of prostate cancer in human urine, adding to the ongoing debate over the disease-detecting powers of man's best friend.

Some scientists have questioned similar reports of dogs with such diagnostic powers in recent years, but the lead author of this latest study said the findings are promising and could lead to better cancer-sensing technology.

"The dogs are certainly recognizing the odor of a molecule that is produced by cancer cells," said French researcher Jean-Nicolas Cornu, who works at Hospital Tenon in Paris.

The problem, he said, is that "we do not know what this molecule is, and the dog cannot tell us."

Still, the report could represent a significant development since cancer often goes undetected until it is too late to treat.

The detection of prostate cancer has been particularly controversial. Some researchers think many patients are treated unnecessarily because existing tests of prostate-specific antigen (PSA) aren't accurate enough and fail to distinguish between dangerous and harmless cancers.

Urine tests can turn up signs of prostate cancer, Cornu said, but miss some cases. Some types of molecules give a distinct odor to urine, "but today there is no means to screen odors from urine and separate them," he said, and no way to link them to cancer.

Enter the dog, whose powers of smell are far greater than those of humans.

For this study, two researchers spent a year training a Belgian Malinois shepherd, a breed already used to detect drugs and bombs.

The dog was trained to differentiate between urine samples from men with prostate cancer and men without. Ultimately, researchers placed groups of five urine samples in front of the dog to see if it could identify the sole sample from a man with prostate cancer.

The dog correctly classified 63 out of 66 specimens.

If the findings hold up in other studies, they'll be "pretty impressive," said urologist Dr. Anthony Y. Smith, who was to moderate a discussion on the findings Tuesday at the American Urological Association annual meeting in San Francisco.

Skeptical researchers are concerned about factors that could throw off the results, said Smith, chief of urology at the University of New Mexico. Among other things, scientists wonder if the animals used in such studies pick up on subconscious signals from researchers.

Still, in this study, it's hard to imagine anything "other than the dogs somehow being able to smell something that we don't smell," Smith said.

If these findings are valid, they could lead to the development of more accurate tests that don't require unnecessary biopsies, Smith said.

The next steps are to determine precisely what the dogs are sniffing and to develop an "electronic nose" to detect it, Cornu said. Other dogs are already being trained, he said.

Could doctors and hospitals employ dogs and researchers to detect prostate cancer? Cornu said that's possible, but it could cost as much as hiring two full-time scientists.

More information

For more about prostate cancer, see the U.S. National Library of Medicine.



-- Randy Dotinga



SOURCES: Jean Nicolas Cornu, researcher, Hospital Tenon, Paris; Anthony Y. Smith, M.D., chief, urology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; June 1, 2010, presentation, American Urological Association annual meeting, San Francisco


'/>"/>
Copyright©2010 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved

Related medicine news :

1. Electronic Nose Sniffs Out Asthma
2. Prostate Cancer Diagnosis Raises Suicide Risk
3. Immediate risk of suicide and cardiovascular death after a prostate cancer diagnosis
4. Loss of gene function makes prostate cancer cells more aggressive
5. Experts Issue Warning on Prostate Hormone Therapy
6. Biochemical profile may help diagnose, determine aggressiveness of prostate cancer
7. New Scan May Help Find Aggressive Prostate Tumors
8. Vaccine approach extends life of metastatic prostate cancer patients
9. Prostate Cancer Care Varies By Hospital Type
10. Study confirms prostate cancer is treated differently at county vs. private hospitals
11. Beer Ingredient Eyed in Prostate Cancer Prevention
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible lice infestation, as reported ... head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human host, and to infest ... in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. , As lice are ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 24, 2016 , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and ... that call for a minimum wage raise to $12 an hour by 2020 and then ... will restore the lost value of the minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Strategic Capital Partners, ... economy by obtaining investment capital for emerging technology companies. SCP has delivered ... already resulted in more than a million dollars of capital investment for five ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/23/2016)... Ill. , June 23, 2016  In a startling report ... are failing their residents by lacking a comprehensive, proven plan to ... a definitive ranking of how states are tackling the worst ... to only four states – Kentucky , ... Vermont . Of the 28 failing states, three ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... DUBLIN , June 23, 2016 ... "Key Pharma News Issue 52" report to their offering. ... need in influenza treatment creates a favourable commercial environment for ... and growing patient base that will serve to drive considerable ... flu vaccine would serve to cap sales considerably, but development ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia (AFC), a new affiliate ... in Latin America . ... ... ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: