Dr. Gyorgy Horvath of the University Hospital in Goteborg, Sweden, along with colleagues at Working Dog Clubs in Sweden and Hungary, trained dogs to distinguish different types and grades of ovarian cancer, including borderline tumors.
They found the odor of ovarian cancer does seem to differ from those of other gynecological malignancies, such as cervical, or endometrial cancers, suggesting a particular, distinguishable scent is associated with ovarian cancer. They additionally found early-stage and low-grade ovarian cancers emit the same scent as advanced tumors.
"While we do not believe that dogs should be used in clinical practice, because they may be influenced during their work, leading to changes in the accuracy rates, still, under controlled circumstances, they may be used in experiments to further explore this very interesting new property of malignancies," the researchers said in a statement.
The findings are published in the journal Integrative Cancer Therapies.