Dogs trained to detect prostate cancer with more than 90% accuracy

The ability of two German shepherds to identify the most common form of cancer in British men has sparked hopes of finding a practical application

Dog from Medical Detection Dogs
Claire Guest, co-founder of UK charity Medical Detection Dogs, said its own research had found a 93% reliability rate when detecting bladder and prostate cancer. Photograph: Emma Jeffery/Medical Detection Dogs/PA

Hopes that man’s best friend can help medics detect prostate cancer have been boosted by research suggesting that trained German shepherd dogs can sniff out the chemicals linked to the disease from urine samples with remarkable accuracy.

The reliability rate reported by an Italy-based team in the Journal of Urology comes from the latest of several studies stretching back decades and raises the prospect of canines’ sense of smell helping doctors identify a number of human cancers and infectious diseases.

The two female dogs sniffed urine samples from 900 men, 360 with prostate cancer and 540 without. Both animals were right in well over 90% of cases


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