A study by researchers have found the efficacy of prostate cancer (PCa) detection by trained dogs on human urine samples.
According to Jean-Nicolas Cornu and colleagues, a trained dog was able to identify volatile compounds (VOCs) that are cancer biomarkers with significant accuracy that could help with prostate cancer diagnosis.
They used a Belgian Malinois shepherd, specially trained to smell and recognize urine of people having PCa.
They obtained urine samples from 66 patients referred to an urologist for elevated prostate-specific antigen or abnormal digital rectal examination.
All samples were frozen for preservation and heated to the same temperature for all tests.
After a 24-month training period, the dog's ability to discriminate PCa and control urine was tested in a double-blind procedure.
All of the patients underwent prostate biopsy - 33 had cancer and 33 were negative. The dog found prostate cancer in 30 of 33 cases.
In one of the three instances, re-biopsy confirmed the presence of prostate cancer, showing the dog's 91 percent accuracy in detecting cancer from urine odours.
The study showed that dogs could be trained to detect PCa by smelling urine with a significant success rate.
The study is published in the February issue of European Urology.