Dog Can Sniff Out Thyroid Cancer In People With Amazing Accuracy

Frankie the German Shepherd-mix enjoys long walks on the beach and doggy snacks, just like any other pooch.

Unlike his canine fellows, however, Frankie is almost 90 percent accurate in detecting cancer.

The dog played a key role in a groundbreaking study from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

Researchers trained the pup to lie down if he smelled cancer in human urine samples or turn away if the pee smelled benign.

And in a 34-sample trial, Frankie correctly identified 30 urine samples, resulting in an accuracy of 88 percent.

He correctly pointed out all but four of the 15 cancerous samples and 19 cases of benign thyroid disease. Frankie is reportedly also the first dog to ever understand the difference between thyroid disease and actual cancer.

Frankie's training represents a massive step forward in addressing thyroid cancer, which the team says is notoriously difficult to catch and treat.

Because dogs have 10 times the nasal receptors of their human fellows, they're obvious candidates for medical training.

Arny Ferrando, co-author of the study, said in a press release the team is aware just how silly Frankie's special skill set might sound.

He added,

We've all looked at it from a skeptical, scientific standpoint, but the data just keeps leading us to the fact that this has remarkable clinical potential

Instead of relying on invasive surgeries, doctors might just have a canine sniff a urine sample.

Moreover, the team hopes dogs may one day be able to smell other kinds of cancer, not just thyroid.

There's also the added benefit of cost efficiency: Kibble is far less expensive than any medical procedure.

Citations: Meet Frankie, the dog that can sniff out thyroid cancer u2018with 88 percent accuracyu2019 (Metro)