Highly-trained dogs' olfactory system detects prostate cancer in urine samples - Abstract

PURPOSE: To establish the diagnostic accuracy, in term of sensitivity and specificity at which a rigorously trained canine olfactory system can recognize prostate cancer (PC)-specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in urine samples.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: Two three-year old female German Shepherd Explosive Detection Dogs were trained to identify PC-specific VOCs in urine samples and tested on 902 subjects (362 with PC ranging from very-low risk to metastatic and 540 healthy, affected by non-neoplastic diseases or non-prostatic tumors control participants). This cross sectional design for diagnostic accuracy involved one large Italian teaching hospital and the Italian Ministry of Defense's, Military Veterinary Center.

RESULTS: The dogs achieved the following performances: Dog 1: sensitivity 100% (95%CI: 99.0-100.0%) and specificity 98.7% (95%CI: 97.3-99.5%). Dog 2: sensitivity 98.6% (95%CI: 96.8-99.6%) and specificity 97.6% (95%CI: 95.9-98.7%). When only the adult men in the Control Group were considered, Dog 1 achieved a sensitivity of 100% and specificity of 98% (95%CI: 96-99.2%), while Dog 2 a sensitivity of 98.6% (95%CI: 96.8-99.6%) and specificity of 96.4% (95%CI: 93.9-98.1%). Analysis of false positive cases did not reveal any consistent pattern in terms of participant demographics or tumor characteristics.

CONCLUSIONS: A trained canine olfactory system detects PC-specific VOCs in urine samples with high estimated sensitivity and specificity. Further studies will be necessary to investigate the potential predictive value of using this procedure for recognizing PC.

Written by:
Taverna G, Tidu L, Grizzi F, Torri V, Mandressi A, Sardella P, La Torre G, Cocciolone G, Seveso M, Giusti G, Hurle R, Santoro A, Graziotti P.   Are you the author?
Humanitas Clinical and Research Center, Rozzano, Milan, Italy; Italian Ministry of Defense's, Military Veterinary Center, CEMIVET, Grosseto, Italy; IRCCS Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche "Mario Negri", Milan, Italy.  

Reference: J Urol. 2014 Sep 25. pii: S0022-5347(14)04573-X.
doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2014.09.099

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 25264338

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