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Grape compounds can kill colon cancer cells – The Shillong Times

Posted: June 20, 2017 at 8:46 am

Compounds found in grape skins and seeds can kill colon cancer cells and may eventually lead to treatments to help prevent the condition, say researchers including one of Indian origin.

The combination of resveratrol (found largely in grape skins) and grape seed extract is very effective at killing colon cancer cells, said Jairam K.P. Vanamala, Associate Professor of Food Sciences at Pennsylvania State University in the US.

And what were learning is the combination of these compounds is not toxic to healthy cells, Vanamala, who is also a faculty member at the Penn State Hershey Cancer Institute, said.

The findings, published in the journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, could pave the way for clinical testing of the compounds on human colon cancer, which is the second most common cancer in women and the third in men.

If successful, the compounds could then be used in a pill to help prevent colon cancer and lessen the recurrence of the disease in colon cancer survivors.

The researchers found that grape compounds can kill colon cancer stem cells both in a petri dish and in mice.

We are particularly interested in targeting stem cells because, according to cancer stem-cell theory, cancerous tumours are driven by cancer stem cells, said Vanamala.

For the animal study, the researchers separated 52 mice with colon cancer tumours into three groups, including a control group and groups that were fed either the grape compounds or sulindac, an anti-inflammatory drug, which was chosen because a previous study showed it significantly reduced the number of tumours in humans.

The incidence of tumours was suppressed in the mice consuming the grape compounds alone by 50 per cent, similar to the rate in the group consuming the diet with sulindac.

When taken separately in low doses, resveratrol and grape seed extract are not as effective against cancer stem-cell suppression as when they are combined together, according to the researchers.

If successful in human trials, the compounds could be taken in low doses using currently available supplements for grape seed extract and resveratrol, which are also found in wine, according to the researchers. (IANS)

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Human tissue model developed to test colon cancer drugs – Medical Xpress

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June 20, 2017 by Jane Langille This is a projection image displaying all of the colon organoid layers. The green represents cells that line the colon called epithelial cells; the red represents an increase in the number of cells that are proliferating; and the blue represents the staining of all cells. Credit: Dr. Miguel Crespo/Weill Cornell Medicine

The first-ever “disease in a Petri dish” platform that models human colon cancer derived from stem cells has been developed by Weill Cornell Medicine investigators, allowing them to identify a targeted drug treatment for a common, inherited form of the disease. The discovery also overcomes a long-standing challenge of using mice to research this form of cancer, as they do not typically develop the disease.

In the study, published June 19 in Nature Medicine, the scientists used human-induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), which can in principle differentiate into any type of cell in the body, that were derived from the skin of two patients with an inherited form of colorectal disease called familial adenomatous polyposis (FAP). With FAP, large intestine cells develop into numerous polyps that for these patients eventually become colon cancer. Using iPSCs, they developed 3-D structures called colonic organoids that closely represented large intestine tissue systems and then performed drug testing.

“Creating an effective testing platform for human colon cancer has been a challenge for the entire field,” said co-senior study author Todd Evans, the Peter I. Pressman, M.D. Professor in Surgery and professor of cell and developmental biology in surgery at Weill Cornell Medicine. “The protocols for modeling human colon disease for drug testing just weren’t there until our team developed a stem-cell-based large intestine tissue system.”

Colon and rectal cancers are the second-leading cause of cancer deaths in America. In 2017, it is estimated that 50,260 people will die from the disease and 135,430 new cases will be diagnosed.

The investigators confirmed through a variety of steps including genomic DNA sequencing and gene expression profiling that they had grown large intestine cells with either of two different FAP mutations, FAP8 or FAP9, and that a gene that when mutated allows FAP cells to grow out of control, called APC, was inactivated. They also created colonic organoids using stem cells derived from a person without FAP for comparison.

Next, they tested the colonic organoids with drugs to measure response. The researchers found that two drugs, XAV939 and rapamycin, significantly curbed cell proliferation; but also, significantly decreased growth in the organoids developed without FAP, suggesting that those drugs could harm healthy colon tissue. Another drug, geneticin, known for its ability to rescue gene activity for some types of mutations, successfully restored normal growth in the FAP9 organoids, yet had no impact on the FAP8 or healthy control organoids.

“Our results demonstrate that we can use this platform to model colon cancer and identify precision medicines that may work to target specific genetic mutations driving the disease,” said co-senior author Shuibing Chen, associate professor of chemical biology in surgery and of biochemistry at Weill Cornell Medicine.

“The beauty is that we can make patient-specific organoids,” Evans added, “increasing the likelihood of predicting which drugs may work and learn about any undesirable effects, all before we treat the patients.”

Explore further: Three-pronged approach is key to precision medicine

More information: Miguel Crespo et al. Colonic organoids derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells for modeling colorectal cancer and drug testing, Nature Medicine (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nm.4355

Journal reference: Nature Medicine

Provided by: Cornell University

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OMRF strikes license agreement for novel liver cancer treatment – NewsOK.com

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By Abby Bitterman Business Writer abitterman@oklahoman.com Published: June 20, 2017 5:00 AM CDT Updated: June 20, 2017 5:00 AM CDT

A new chemotherapeutic drug is being developed to treat liver cancer.

New York City-based biomedical acceleration and development company Q BioMed Inc. has entered into a final licensing agreement with the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation and Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology. The agreement gives Q BioMed global exclusive rights to market and develop the new drug, according to a media release.

The drug, uttrocide B, is made with a compound that has been isolated from the leaves of Solanum nigrum Linn, also known as black nightshade, the company said. The compound has shown to be 10 times more cytotoxic, or toxic to cells, to HepG2 liver cancer cells in animals than the only drug currently on the market, the company said, and it also has shown to be more potent and to cause no noticeable side effects.

Researchers at India-based Rajiv Gandhi Centre for Biotechnology identified the therapeutic effect of the compound and collaborated with Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation to further develop and commercialize it, according to the release.

“This is truly an unmet need in liver cancer,” Manu Nair, OMRF Vice President of Technology Ventures, said in a statement. “To find a plant-based treatment for a condition like liver cancer can open the door to a wide variety of other natural products for treating human disease.”

Q BioMed worked with OMRF to structure the licensing deal, and OMRF and the biotechnology center will split royalties paid to OMRF by Q BioMed for the drug, Q BioMed CEO Denis Corin said. Q BioMed will continue to work with OMRF as a development partner, he said.

The company is working to chemically synthesize the plant-based drug because it would be difficult to extract large enough quantities of molecules from the plants to make the drug commercially available, Corin said. He said Q BioMed is in the preclinical stages of developing the drug and is aiming to be able to start clinical trials in 2018.

Liver cancer causes about 788,000 deaths per year worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

There’s only one drug currently on the market for liver cancer patients, Corin said. So there’s a demand and need for an additional or a better therapeutic choice for those patients.

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Sick fraudster who pretended she had cancer after researching symptoms and fitting her own DRIP is ordered to repay … – The Sun

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Warped Kelsey Whitehead shaved her head and faked hospital visits as part of sickening swindle

A SECRETARY who conned her employers and pals out of 15,000 by pretending she was dying from cancer has been ordered to pay back just 1.

Warped Kelsey Whitehead, 38, shaved her head and fitted a DIY medication drip and was so convincing her wife quit work to care for her.

Stephen Daniels/DANPICS

Whiteheadlied in a Facebook announcement she had stage four metastatic osteosarcoma bone cancer that has spread to other parts of the body.

The admin worker used makeup to look tired, bought headscarves and medication online and made herself sick at work.

She evencut her own chest to insert a Hickman line drip telling her wife Sophie it was to administer cancer drugs.

Sophie, who quit work believing it was her wifes last days, dropped her off at hospital once a week where she sat in the waiting room for two hours then left.

Whitehead got 9,282 in sick and holiday pay and a 5,000 loan from her bosses at Carbon Electric in east Hull for private care. Co-workers donated 1,400 to a charity in her name.

But at a hearing in Lincoln Crown Court on Monday, judges ordered she should just pay 1 back as she has no assets.

The hoaxer, of Gainsborough, Lincs, admitted fraud and got a suspended sentence with a rehabilitation order in March.

Judge Michael Heath said at Lincoln crown court: Your deceit has been serious and persistent, planned and sophisticated.

It has been an insult to people who really do suffer from cancer.

Stephen Daniels/DANPICS

He added: Your behaviour has been bizarre. To insert a tube and keep it there without medical supervision indicates there is a real psychological problem.

The scam came to light in May 2016 after Whitehead took an overdose and was admitted to hospital.

The court heard wife Sophie Whitehead is standing by her.

Outside court Lizzie Hutton, from her Hull-based employer Carbon Electric, said: I cannot begin to describe how betrayed and disappointed we feel.

We cannot understand why she would do this to us, her friends and to Sophie.

When I first heard that Kelsey was not ill it felt like I had gone through a bereavement and that the person I cared about did not exist any more.

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Half of all Canadians will get cancer in their lifetime, report says – Toronto Star

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Almost half of all Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime, the Canadian Cancer Society says in a new report.

Prognoses for cancer patients are improving all the time some of the most common forms of the disease now have survival rates over 90 per cent. But for conditions like pancreatic cancer, a diagnosis is still virtually a death sentence.

In its latest annual report on cancer statistics, The Canadian Cancer Society tells a tale of progress and stagnation, and the vast disparities between different forms of the illness.

Cancer is a complicated disease, said Dr. Robert Nuttall, Assistant Director of Health Policy at the Canadian Cancer Society. It is really a hundred different types of diseases all (grouped) together.

Cancer is still the leading cause of death in Canada, accounting for over 30 per cent of all mortality in the country. Heart disease, the second leading cause of death, accounts for less than 20 per cent, according to the report, produced with Statistics Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada and provincial resources.

Overall cancer survival rates are rising all the time.

Defined as the proportion of patients alive five years after their diagnosis, and adjusted for patient age, the survival rate for cancer as a whole is now approximately 60 per cent.

In the 1940s, it was just 25 per cent.

Cathy Telger, 57, survived diagnoses of malignant melanoma in 1996 and 2007.

Both times, the cancer was caught early and doctors were able to treat it by removing moles on her leg, Telfer said.

Her father, now 92, has faced malignant melanoma and survived four times, she added.

Melanoma, like breast cancer and Hodgkins lymphoma, has a survival rate of above 85 per cent, according to the Canadian Cancer Society report.

Testicular, thyroid and prostate cancers have survival rates of 95 per cent or more.

This is one of those numbers that we do see improving every time we get new (statistics) coming out, said Nuttall.

Not all cancer diagnoses come with such a positive prognosis.

The survival rate for pancreatic cancer is one of the lowest of any form of the disease.

The Canadian Cancer Society estimates that 5,500 Canadians will get pancreatic cancer in 2017. Only about half of them will be expected to survive longer than four months.

We dont fully understand the biology of it, so we dont have a good way of screening for it or preventing it, said Dr. Evan Grunfeld of the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research.

Symptoms of pancreatic cancer rarely become apparent until the illness is fairly advanced, Grunfeld said.

Pancreatic cancer is often only detected because it has grown to the point that it is putting pressure on other organs or changing a persons metabolism, she added.

And, because of where it is anatomically, we arent necessarily able to visualize it (whereas) with breast cancer we can get a sense of whats happening there.

Pancreatic cancer can also be resistant to chemotherapy and other forms of cancer treatment, said Nuttall.

It will take more research to understand how better to detect and treat.

Pancreatic cancer … is something we need to be doing more research on so that we can make progress, Nuttall said.

Its really about an increased effort of research so we can improve outcomes for people.

Even when it comes to forms of cancer with very high survival rates, more work is needed to decrease the incidence of the disease, Grunfeld said.

An estimated 40 to 50 per cent of cancer cases could be prevented through actions like quitting smoking, getting more exercise, improving diet, practicing sun safety and doing a better job of screening for the illness, she added.

Telfer, for instance, recalled that her father did not consider their vacations to be a success unless he got a sunburn, which would develop into a tan.

Both of us were sunbathers back in the day…. and I am, or was, a redhead and have freckled skin and I burned very easily, Telfer said.

I look back now and say, If only Id used sunscreen. If only I hadnt laid out in the sun. But we didnt know back then.

Its those lifestyle choices that can play a major role in ensuring fewer people ever have to deal with cancer, no matter how good the prognosis, Grunfeld said.

Its great that survival rates for (many cancers) are improving, but if you think of it either at the individual level or at the level of the health care system, its not just about survival, Grunfeld said. Its about the entire diagnostic and treatment process. That has a huge impact.

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Nearly one in two Canadians expected to get cancer: report – The Globe and Mail

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Almost one in every two Canadians is expected to be diagnosed with cancer in their lifetime and one in four Canadians will die from the disease, a new report by the Canadian Cancer Society predicts.

In 2017, an estimated 206,200 Canadians will be diagnosed with some form of cancer and an estimated 80,800 will succumb to their malignancy making cancer the leading cause of death in Canada, the charitable organization said Tuesday in its annual cancer statistics report.

Currently, every year were seeing an increase in the number of cancer cases in Canada, said the societys epidemiologist, Leah Smith. So between now and 2030, for example, we expect to continue to see a dramatic increase in the number of cancers diagnosed in Canada.

Read more: Donation drop forces merger of Canada’s largest cancer charities

That is a reflection of the growing and aging population, she said. About 90 per cent of all the cancers that we expect to be diagnosed in 2017 will be among Canadians 50 years of age and older.

About 45 per cent of those cases will occur in people age 70 and older, said Smith, noting that as more people move into old age, the number of cancer cases will rise.

Despite the projection that cancer will cause the deaths of one in four Canadians, cancer mortality rates have been declining since their peak in 1988. Over the last three decades, deaths due to cancer have fallen by more than 30 per cent among males and by about 17 per cent among females.

Declines in death rates have been largely driven by decreases in lung cancer incidence and mortality, she said, so tobacco control in general has had a big impact on our death rates, especially among men who historically had higher smoking rates than their female counterparts.

Increased rates of screening for breast cancer and improved treatments have also bolstered survival among women.

Still, four cancers prostate, breast, lung and colorectal continue to top the list of the most common malignancies, which together are expected to account for more than half the cancer diagnoses in 2017. Lung cancer continues to take a huge toll: more people are predicted to die of the disease this year (21,100) than from a combination of the other three cancers (19,200 in total).

Sarah Metcalfe of Ottawa is all too familiar with the ravages of cancer, which has affected eight people in her family.

When she was a child, an aunt died of breast cancer. But cancer really hit home when Metcalfe was a new mom in her early 30s and her husband developed osteosarcoma in his upper arm, which was successfully treated with a bone transplant and long courses of dramatic chemotherapy.

About the same time, three uncles succumbed to lung cancer, mostly due to smoking, and then her father developed fatal colon cancer.

I thought thats got to be it now, said Metcalfe, 58.

But is was not to be: her brother was subsequently diagnosed with skin cancer, though he is doing well, she said, and then I had my turn. In 2011, Metcalfe learned she had breast cancer.

Just as Id finished treatment, my mom found a lump on her thigh that turned out to be a soft-tissue sarcoma. Despite treatment, the cancer spread and her mother died about two years later.

Thats it so far, said Metcalfe, who as the owner of two womens fitness centres in part credits regular exercise and maintaining a healthy diet with her five-year survival.

Survival rates for some cancers have improved dramatically over time: overall, 60 per cent of Canadians diagnosed and treated for cancer will survive five years or longer, says Smith.

But thats not the case for pancreatic cancer. With an eight per cent five-year survival rate, the gastrointestinal cancer has the poorest prognosis of the 23 malignancies the Canadian Cancer Society reports on. This year, an estimated 5,500 Canadians will be diagnosed with cancer of the pancreas and 4,800 will die of the disease.

Unfortunately, were seeing very little improvement in pancreatic cancer, not just in Canada but around the world, said Smith, pointing out that the report has a special focus on the disease in a bid to raise awareness and designated funding for the cancer.

Dr. Jolie Ringash, a radiation oncologist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto, said pancreatic cancer is challenging to treat because tumours dont typically cause symptoms abdominal or back pain until they are at an advanced stage.

Its one of the areas where we really have not seen significant breakthroughs in 50 years, she admitted.

So the lucky ones are where its found very early, often by chance because the (patient is) having tests for some other reason and theres a tiny cancer that can be surgically removed.

Thats the good-case scenario. But unfortunately, the vast majority of these tumours progress within the abdomen, dont cause any symptoms for the longest time and by the time theyre recognized theyre very advanced and treatments arent very effective.

Ringash said more research into the causes of pancreatic cancer is needed, which could help lead to a screening test that could to pick up tumours when theyre small and more treatable. Researchers hope to find a biomarker in the blood similar to the PSA test used to screen for potential prostate cancer in men but she said more research dollars are needed for such screening and to develop much better treatment.

Unlike with breast cancer and prostate cancer, where survivors and their families and friends often hold events to raise awareness and research funding with the goal of finding cures, the issue of pancreatic cancer seems to fall below the public radar and suffers as a result, she said.

We dont have enough survivors out there pounding the streets and doing the walks and raising the money.

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Treatment, not screening, credited with latest breast cancer advances – Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Treatment, not screening, credited with latest breast cancer advances
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Women who get a diagnosis of breast cancer often have little preparation for what comes next, except in stories from their friends, their neighbors, their sisters, their mothers. The good news is that women are surviving cases that years ago were
Age Matters: New study links alcohol consumption, breast cancer riskRoanoke Times

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New Cancer Treatment Uses Patient’s Immune System To Fight Disease – CBS Pittsburgh / KDKA

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CBS Pittsburgh / KDKA
New Cancer Treatment Uses Patient's Immune System To Fight Disease
CBS Pittsburgh / KDKA
NEW YORK (KDKA) Scientists are reporting unprecedented success with a new type of cancer treatment. It uses the patient's own immune system to fight the disease. Emma Collins looks like a typical 16-year-old girl now, but less than three years ago

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Faces of the fighters against cancer – euronews

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Masks used in cancer treatment have been transformed into pieces of art and presented in an exhibition in the Romanian capital, Bucharest.

The radiotherapy masks, worn by patients suffering from cancer who receive radiation doses to the head and neck area, are made of thermoplastic netting which takes the shape of a patients face, after the mask is heated in 60C water. The mask will keep the patient immobilized in the same position during each of the 30-35 sessions, thus contributing to a better targeting of the radiation beam.

We recovered them from an oncology hospital, I do not know what happened to them, some of them may still live, others may have died, said Crinu Cornel Surlea, the Romanian art collector who conceived the exhibit.

He had the idea of transforming the masks into art after his personal battle with cancer and he also reimagined his own mask, covered in gold.

Between the mask and the patient, there is a connection and this is terrible and very important when you are sick and you pass through the pain, Surlea confesses.

I could have seen me dying of old age or in a terrible car crash, in a plane accident or in an earthquake, but I could have never imagined myself dying of cancer. Especially of cancer in my larynx, although I have never smoked, Ive done a lot of sports and have enjoyed a healthy lifestyle. Fortunately, I also missed this kind of death, he says.

Sixty four well-known Romanian artists joined the project, creating 146 works, including paintings and graphics in addition to the decoration of the masks.

As part of the project, Crinu Cornel Surlea also launched an album, The Scream Masks of Grief and Hope.*

Lets fight cancer is the message Surlea wants to send to the people and decision makers. After his own story with the disease and having to monitor his health for five years after he did radiotherapy, Surlea says: I lost my ability to forget and at the same time I was overwhelmed with revolt, a kind of revolt directed against everyone who could do something about it but didnt do anything at all.

According to a study conducted in 2016 by The Center for Innovation in Medicine (InoMed) and the marketing research company IMAS, in Romania there are over one million cancer patients.

Almost 4 million families in Romania have had at least one member suffering from cancer. The challenge of treating them is exacerbated by the fact that many of the countries brightest doctors have left to seek work abroad: There are 250-300 oncologists across the country, we do not have pediatric oncologists, there are about 45-50 radiotherapy specialists, declares Crinu Cornel Surlea.

For 27 years, political parties, politicians, parliamentarians, presidents, NGO and prosecutors have not considered cancer on their agenda. They have hardly done anything, he adds.

They could have built more specialised hospitals, equipped the old oncological sections with new and up-to-date equipment, brought cheaper and higher quality cytostatic drugs, motivated physicians to remain in Romania by fair pay, developed programmes of recovery and psychological support for the patients affected by this disease, he says.

World Health Organization data show that cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, responsible for nearly 1 in 6 deaths.

Surlea wants to donate some of the creations to oncological hospitals. But the main purpose of his initiative is not only to mobilize the patients to fight cancer but, as well, to wake up society and to inspire hope.

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Dogs Will Sniff Out Stomach Cancer in New Japanese Trial – Smithsonian

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SmartNews Keeping you current (Wikimedia Commons)

smithsonian.com 2 hours ago

It seems thatnew cancer breakthroughsare happening all the time. But in recent years, one particular discovery has caught the publics imagination: cancer-sniffingdogs. Now, asYvette Tan at Mashable reports, residents of a town in Japan with high rates of stomach cancer are participating in a trial to test the accuracy of these cancer-sniffing canines.

According to Tan, residents of Kaneyama, a town of 6,000 in the Yamagata Prefecture will send frozen urine samples to Nippon Medical School, located outside of Tokyo. There, highly trained detection dogs willsniff the samplesfor signs of cancer. Its believed the dogs are able to detect specific odors cancer cells emit that humans are not able to detect.

In our research so far, cancer detection dogs have been able to find [signs of]cancer with an accuracy of nearly 100 percent,” Masao Miyashita, a professor at the medical school leading in the program tells Japan Today.

While the project and others like it are interesting, they have their critics. Using dogs isn’t very cost effective, Cynthia Otto, director of the Penn Vet Working Dog Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Veterinary Medicine tellsSara Chodosh at Popular Science. The point of screening people for cancer is to do it quickly and cheaply in order to cover as many patients as possible.For the Japanese trial, training one of the dogscosts a whopping $45,000.

And dogs can have good days and bad days. They cant tell their handlers why they might have made a mistake on a certain day, so its hard to adjust the training. They have all of these influences that can throw them off, and we may not recognize it, Otto tells Chodosh. We dont want to risk somebodys life on that.

Even so, the ability to sniff out cancer is impressive and intriguing. And researchers have continued to pursue the idea. A Quebec-based program called CancerDogs is screening some U.S. firefighters who typically have higher than normal cancer rates. A program in the U.K. called Medical Detection Dogs has participated in a study where dogs sniff out signs of prostate cancer. An initial study showed the dogs could detect prostate cancer in 93 percent of cases.

Our dogs have higher rates of reliability than most of the existing tests. We know their sense of smell is extraordinary. They can detect parts per trillion thats the equivalent of one drop of blood in two Olympic-sized swimming pools, Claire Guest, founder of Medical Detection Dogs tells the Press Association. We should not be turning our backs on these highly sensitive bio-detectors just because they have furry coats.

Even if the tests dont lead to Doggy M.D.s roaming hospitals, Otto toldJoshua A. Krisch at The New York Timesin 2014 that the projects are worthwhile if they help isolate the compounds the dogs are detecting. That could lead to new nanotech sensors that could find cancers as well or even better than the pups.

But medical detection dogs seem to alreadyhave a place in medicine. Currently diabetes assist dogs alert their owners when they detect low blood sugar scents and seizure alert dogs are trained to help people with epilepsy. So perhaps, in the future, our furry friends can help sniff out cancer as well.

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Jason Daley is a Madison, Wisconsin-based writer specializing in natural history, science, travel, and the environment. His work has appeared in Discover, Popular Science, Outside, Mens Journal, and other magazines.

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