German Shepherds Can Detect Breast Cancer on Clothing with 100% Accuracy, French Team Says

German Shepherds Can Detect Breast Cancer on Clothing with 100% Accuracy, French Team Says
German shepherds, with training, were able to detect breast cancer in women by sniffing a piece of clothing that they had worn close to a breast with a tumor, French researchers at  the Curie Institute in Paris report. The findings are part of an unconventional but promising trial in diagnosing breast cancers. The two dogs, after only six months of training, were 100 percent accurate in detecting breast cancer — opening the possibility of a highly non-invasive, and low cost, means of  spotting a possible cancer, particularly in regions where mammograms are scarce or non-existent. "In these countries, there are oncologists, there are surgeons, but in rural areas often there is limited access to diagnostics," Isabelle Fromantin, leader of the Kdog project, said in a press release. Because of poor access, Fromantin said, patients run the risk of failing to be treated at earlier cancer stages. "If this works, we can roll it out rapidly,” she added. Kdog is grounded on the premise that breast cancer cells have a distinct smell that can be picked up by dogs’ sensitive noses. In the study, researchers collected 31 pieces of bandage that had touched affected breast skin in 31 cancer patients. With the assistance of a trainer Jacky Experton, the team instructed the two shepherds, Thor and Nykios, to recognize cancer. "It is all based on game-playing and reward,” Experton said. The dogs performed the trial’s tasks throughout several days in January and February. The researchers then replaced the 31 bandages used fo
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