- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Highly-trained dogs are able to sniff out prostate cancer in urine with at least 98 percent accuracy, a new study has revealed.

The study’s lead author, Dr. Gianluigi Taverna, presented the findings Sunday at the American Urological Association’s annual conference in Orlando, Reutersreported.

“This study gives us a standardized method of diagnosis that is reproducible, low cost and non-invasive,” said Mr. Taverna, chief of the prostatic diseases unit at the Humanitas Research Hospital in Milan, Italy, according to Reuters.

“Using dogs to recognize prostate cancer might help reduce the number of unnecessary biopsies and better pinpoint patients at high risk for the disease,” he said.

His team enrolled 902 participants in the study: 362 men with varying degrees of prostate cancer and a control group made up of 540 men and women who were either healthy or suffered from other types of cancer or diseases, Reuters reported.

Two 3-year-old, female German Shepherds that previously worked as bomb-sniffing dogs were trained for about five months at the Italian Ministry of Defense’s Military Veterinary Center in Grosseto.

Dog 1 achieved 100 percent accuracy in detecting samples from prostate cancer patients, while Dog 2 achieved 98.6 percent accuracy, the report said.

Dog-detection is a technique that “needs to be combined with other, common diagnostic tools,” Mr. Taverna told Reuters, referring to PSA, biopsy, MRI, etc.