Highly Trained Beagles Can Smell Lung Cancer in Serum

MedicalResearch.com Interview with:

Thomas A. Quinn, DO, FAOCOPM Clinical Professor Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine Bradenton

Dr. Quinn

Thomas A. Quinn, DO, FAOCOPM
Clinical Professor
Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Bradenton 

MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Response: Canine scent detection of lung cancer is showing evidence of being an effective, safe and cost effective method of early detection of lung as well as other types of cancer.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths and early detection has proven to be one of the most effective ways to reduce the mortality and morbidity of this deadly disease.  In a collaborative study conducted by the Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM) and BioScentDX, a canine training and research facility, we were able to show that highly trained dogs can detect non-small cell cancer of the lung by scent alone.  For this study we chose to use Beagles because of their superior scent capability as well as their temperament, sociability and easy trainability.  The dogs proved to be able, in this double blind study, to detect lung cancer in blood serum with a 96.7% sensitivity and a 97.5% specificity. The dogs underwent an eight-week training program using the clicker/treat training method.  We trained four Beagles for this study but one of the dogs did not respond well to the training methods and had to be removed from the program. That dog was retrained as a service dog for a handicapped child.

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