A trained scent dog is able to accurately identify presence of thyroid cancer in urine samples, a recent study presented at The Endocrine Society meeting in San Diego has found.
Donald Bodenner, MD, PhD, of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and colleagues acquired urine samples from 34 patients before they went on to have a biopsy for suspicious thyroid nodules Previously, Bodenner’s co-author, Arny Ferrando, PhD, scent-trained a rescued German Shepherd-mix to recognize the smell of cancer in thyroid tissue, awarding the dog for identifying cancer samples while turning away from benign ones.
When presented with the samples, the dog was able to match final surgical pathology in 30 of the 34 patients, resulting in a true-positive rate of 86.7 percent as well as a true-negative rate of 89.5 percent.
The researchers plan to expand their program in collaboration with the Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine in order to train two bomb-sniffing dogs to also detect thyroid cancer.
A trained scent dog accurately identified whether patients’ urine samples had thyroid cancer or were benign (noncancerous) 88.2 percent of the time, according to a new study, to- be presented Friday at the Endocrine Society’s 97th annual meeting in San Diego.