Two dogs have learned to use their sense of smell in order to detect cancer in humans. After 6 months of testing, this method has been proven to be 100% effective.
Thor and Nikios learned to detect cancer
On Tuesday 21st February 2017, an exciting leap forward in the detection of breast cancer was announced by the Curie Institute. The study in dogs being able to detect cancer was a success.
Two Belgian Shepherd, Thor and Nikios, had been trained for 6 months in Magnac-Laval, France, for tests on a group of 130 female volunteers.
The KDog project
This study had been put in place by the management of the KDog project by the Curie Institute.
The tumors generate scents that are undetectable for humans, but dogs can be trained to sniff out this particular scent. This is because they have an exceptional sense of smell that allows them to detect this scent in a tiny amount of material.
Thor and Nikios have been trained to detect cancer scents on fabrics impregnated with the sweat of individuals. They can sort the healthy samples from those who have tumor markers.
The study will grow
The two Belgian Shepherds will soon be joined by dogs from other breeds in order to enlarge the project.
Between 2018 and 2021, a clinical study will be completed on 1000 women because '"t is necessary to have a large sample group in order to validate the KDog project" according to the Curie Institute.
These results are promising. Dogs may be able to detect cancer other than breast cancer, and be used in developing countries where medical equipment is costly and is of a very limited availability.
This is not the first instance of successful cancer detection. In 2014, a dog detected his pet parent's cancer. However, this is the first time that the same has been reproduced under scientific conditions.
What do you think of the KDog project?