The results of Medical Detection Dogs’ trial to train dogs to detect the most aggressive kind of prostate cancer in urine samples were published in highly respected journal, PLOS ONE, and show that they can detect the most aggressive forms of the disease with high specificity and sensitivity.
Not only that, they can find it in urine from patients who have other diseases of the prostate.
Results showed the dogs’ noses were 71% sensitive – the rate at which the dogs correctly identified positive samples and 73% specific – the rate at which the dogs correctly ignored negative samples including those with other diseases. The dogs also correctly identified when 73% of patient samples did not have the disease. This compares favourably to the most commonly used prostate cancer test, the PSA blood test, and demonstrates how a new screening based on the dog’s nose could support the PSA test and improve early diagnosis, leading to better health outcomes and saving lives.
The work of fox red Labrador, Florin and Hungarian wired-haired Vizsla, Midas, has also moved us one paw closer to translating, in time, the ability of a dog’s nose to an electronic device which would be a gamechanger. We could not be more proud of our dogs.