Archive for March, 2006

Dogs and Cancer Detection

The study conductor(s)top
Tadeusz Jezierski (Polish Academy of Sciences, Institute of Genetics and Animal Breeding), Michael McCulloch (Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California)
The participant(s)top
Five canines; 55 lung and 31 breast cancer patients; 83 healthy control patients
Date study concludedtop
March 3, 2006
Funded bytop
This study was supported by the MACH Foundation (Fairfax, CA), Guide Dogs for the Blind (San Rafael, CA) and Frank and Carol Rosemayr (Kentfield, CA).

This study attempted to show that a canine could accurately detect certain types of cancer once trained to do so.


Trained canines can detect breast and lung cancer with 88% and 97% accuracy respectively.

Methods usedtop

Canines trained to detect cancer exhaled in breath were tested against samples from 86 cancer patients and 83 healthy control patients. The canines sat down next to a sample to indicate that the nearest sample contained the “cancer scent”.


The results showed that dogs can detect breast and lung cancer with sensitivity and specificity between 88 percent and 97 percent. The high accuracy persisted even after results were adjusted to take into account whether the lung cancer patients were currently smokers. Moreover, the study also confirmed that the trained dogs could even detect the early stages of lung cancer, as well as early breast cancer.


This study fails to provide accuracy per breed or specific training methods, but the test results seem to indicate accurate training and therefore negates the relevancy of breed specific information.

External Sourcestop | |
APA Citation(s)top
Dogs and Cancer Detection. (2006).
   Retrieved January 21, 2018, from Public Studies Web site:
MLA Citation(s)top
“Dogs and Cancer Detection”
   Public Studies. 3 March 2006.
   January 21, 2018. <>.