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Integrating exhaled breath diagnostics by disease-sniffing dogs with instrumental laboratory analysis
Pleil, J. AND R. Giese. Integrating exhaled breath diagnostics by disease-sniffing dogs with instrumental laboratory analysis. Journal of Breath Research. Institute of Physics Publishing, Bristol, Uk, 11(3):032001, (2017).
Dogs have a highly developed sense of smell as is evident in their historical use in security and police investigative applications for detecting drugs, weapons, bombs, and for tracking criminals (Sloane 1955, Settle et al. 1994, Furton and Meyers 2001, Mesloh et al. 2002). More recently, dogs have been trained to detect a variety of diagnosed medical conditions in humans (Neerincx et al. 2016, Sonoda et al. 2016, Hackner et al. 2016, Ehman et al. 2012, Jezierski et al. 2015). The focus here is to explore a strategy of reaching pre-‐clinical (very early) instrumental detection of cancer based on breath analysis by taking advantage of the dog’s superior odor detection capabilities (Ehman et al. 2012, Buszewski et al. 2015).
Dogs have been studied for many years as a medical diagnostic tool to detect a pre-clinical disease state by sniffing emissions directly from a human or an in vitro biological sample. Some of the studies report high sensitivity and specificity in blinded case-control studies. However, in these studies it is completely unknown as to which suites of chemicals the dogs detect and how they ultimately interpret this information amidst confounding background odors. Herein, we consider the advantages and challenges of canine olfaction for early (meaningful) detection of cancer, and propose an experimental concept to narrow the molecular signals used by the dog for sample classification to laboratory-based instrumental analysis. This serves two purposes; first, in contrast to dogs, analytical methods could be quickly up-scaled for high throughput sampling. Second, the knowledge gained from identifying probative chemicals could be helpful in learning more about biochemical pathways and disease progression. We focus on exhaled breath aerosol, arguing that the semi-volatile fraction should be given more attention. Ultimately, we conclude that the interaction between dog-based and instrument-based research will be mutually beneficial and accelerate progress towards early detection of cancer by breath analysis.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY
EXPOSURE METHODS & MEASUREMENT DIVISION