August 30th, 2015 @ 3:24 pm by Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi
Despite the marvels of modern medicine, many types of cancer remain difficult to detect reliably in their early stages. Finding these diseases in the “golden hour” is critical for timely and effective treatment to achieve the best possible prognosis.
A dog’s sense of smell is roughly 10,000-100,000 times stronger than a human’s, and now a UC Davis Medical Center team of physicians, veterinarians and animal behaviorists has begun training Labradoodle Alfie and German Shepard Charlie to better screen for cancer – especially at early stages of the disease.
Canines have been successfully trained to distinguish the breath samples of lung and breast cancer patients from those of healthy volunteers. Such promising results have cancer experts at UC Davis enthusiastic about the potential for the dogs to represent a safe, noninvasive method for detecting cancer before it is too late.
UC Davis is committed to applying this cutting-edge research to real-world value, and I am very excited by the potential to apply this research in our health care systems. Canine scent detection has the potential to trump the most tech-heavy cancer detection methods, and the dogs’ incredible talent for scent detection could offer a real jump on diagnosing cancer much earlier and save many more lives.
To learn more, visit HERE.