UAMS has been making headlines in the scientific world the last few days for research that indicates a dog has been trained to sniff out thyroid cancer.
Science Daily reports on research led by Dr. David Bodenner:
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.
“Current diagnostic procedures for thyroid cancer often yield uncertain results, leading to recurrent medical procedures and a large number of thyroid surgeries performed unnecessarily,” said the study’s senior investigator, Donald Bodenner, MD, PhD, chief of endocrine oncology at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) in Little Rock.
“Scent-trained canines could be used by physicians to detect the presence of thyroid cancer at an early stage and to avoid surgery when unwarranted,” Bodenner commented.
Frankie, a German shepherd-mix rescue dog, was trained to recognize the smell of cancer in thyroid tissue. In a test of 34 patients, the dog’s diagnostic accuracy — 30 correct — was only8 slightly less accurate that a biopsy.