The Straits Times
www.straitstimes.com
Published on Dec 05, 2012
 

Dogs can sniff out lung cancer, Austrian pilot study shows

 
 

VIENNA (AFP) - Dogs are surprisingly adept at sniffing out lung cancer, results from a pilot project in Austria published on Wednesday suggested, potentially offering hope for earlier, life-saving diagnosis.

"Dogs have no problem identifying tumour patients," said Dr Peter Errhalt, head of the pulmonology department at Krems hospital in northern Austria, one of the authors of the study.

The test saw dogs achieve a 70 per cent success rate identifying cancer from 120 breath samples, a result so "encouraging" that a two-year study 10 times larger will now take place, Dr Errhalt said.

The results echo anecdotal evidence of odd canine behaviour when around cancer sufferers and are backed up by the results of similar small studies, including one by German scientists in 2011.