----- Forwarded message from David Farber <email@example.com
From: David Farber <firstname.lastname@example.org
Subject: [IP] Man's Best Friend Indeed!
Date: Mon, 9 Jan 2006 15:33:41 -0500
Begin forwarded message:
From: Randall <email@example.com
Date: January 9, 2006 3:16:55 PM EST
To: Dave <firstname.lastname@example.org
>, Dewayne Hendricks <email@example.com
Subject: Man's Best Friend Indeed!
Dogs Can Smell Cancer?
Monday, January 09, 2006 at 3:14 PM EST
Dogs as good as screening for cancer detection
11:24 09 January 2006
NewScientist.com news service
Dogs do as well as state-of-the-art screening tests at sniffing out
people with lung or breast cancer. The research raises the possibility
that trained dogs could detect cancers even earlier and might some day
supplement or even replace mammograms and CT scans in the laboratory.
Two previous studies have shown that dogs seem to be able to sniff out
melanomas and bladder cancer. The idea is not outrageous. Cancer
patients have been shown to have traces of chemicals like alkanes and
benzene derivatives in their breath, and other studies have shown dogs
can detect chemicals in concentrations as small as a few parts per
So researchers at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California,
US, selected three Labrador retrievers and two Portuguese water dogs
with no previous training, and over several weeks trained them using
breath samples that had been exhaled into tubes by cancer patients.
To test how well the dogs had learned, they used a new batch of samples
and had the dogs attempt to distinguish among 55 lung cancer patients,
31 breast cancer patients and 83 healthy controls. The patients had all
had their cancers confirmed by biopsy. The tests were double-blind, so
neither the dog handlers nor the experimenters knew which tubes were
The dogs correctly detected 99% of the lung cancer samples, and made a
mistake with only 1% of the healthy controls. With breast cancer, they
correctly detected 88% of the positive samples, and made a mistake on
only 2% of the controls.
The work is convincing, says James C Walker, director of the Florida
State University Sensory Research Institute in Tallahassee, US. In 2004
Walker and colleagues showed that dogs could sniff out melanomas. He
says that the next step is to see if dogs are really detecting cancer,
or if they might be sensing a more general disease symptom, such as one
that comes from inflammation.
Walker says he would like, eventually, to see a long, large-scale trial
designed to test whether dogs can detect cancer even earlier than
standard screening tests.
Journal reference: Integrative Cancer Therapies (vol 5, p 1)
"We've got the hatemongers who literally hate this president, and that
is so wrong. . . . The people who hate George Bush hate him because he's
a follower of Jesus Christ, unashamedly says so and applies his faith in
his day-to-day operations." — Rev. Jerry Falwell, on C-SPAN's
Archives at: http://www.interesting-people.org/archives/interesting-people/
----- End forwarded message -----
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