How dogs' keen sense of smell is used in cancer research



PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - Dogs are being used to develop new diagnostic tests for cancer by using their keen sense of smell.

McBaine, a springer Spaniel, is equipped with an acute sense of smell that can sniff out ovarian cancer tissue.

McBaine and other dogs at the Penn Vet Working Dog Center in Philadelphia can recognize the cancer odor in ways that technology can’t.

“The great thing about dogs is not only are they more sensitive, but they can filter things out,” one researcher said.

Researchers hope to narrow down a specific odor so scientists can design a blood or urine test that can detect ovarian cancer in its earliest stages.