Dogs at Penn Vet Working Dog Center have been able to detect ovarian cancer tissue 100 percent of the time.
Ohlin Frank, a chocolate lab and his fellow trainee, McBaine Chamberlain, a spunky springer spaniel, are part of an interdisciplinary research project at the University of Pennsylvania’s to help scientists discover a chemical footprint that might lead to earlier diagnostic tests to save human lives, ABC News reported.
They are among 15 carefully bred detection dogs learning to sniff out explosives, drugs and missing people.
And now, they will use their keen sense of smell to identify the earliest odor of ovarian cancer, a silent killer that is often diagnosed too late.
Cancer cells leave a detectable biomarker, just as asparagus can affect the smell of urine when eaten.
Within two years, Penn Vet founder and executive director Cynthia M. Otto hopes the dogs can be trained to narrow down a specific odor so scientists can design an inexpensive and less-invasive blood test to catch ovarian cancer while it’s still treatable.