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Future technologies….things are changing. Canine Technology. Dogs can detect early lung, breast cancer World Science Dec. 2006. Research has been ongoing since 1989 to determine the canine ability to detect cancer.

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dogs can detect early lung breast cancer world science dec 2006
Dogs can detect early lung, breast cancerWorld Science Dec. 2006
  • Research has been ongoing since 1989 to determine the canine ability to detect cancer.
  • Lung and breast cancers are leading causes of cancer death worldwide and early detection of the disease is highly desirable.
  • A new study has found that dogs might be able to help detect these cancers early.
  • Dogs’ extraordinary scenting ability can distinguish people with both early and late stage lung and breast cancers from healthy people.
dog trial
Dog Trial
  • A trial was comprised of 55 lung cancer and 31 breast cancer patients who had not yet undergone chemotherapy, and 83 healthy patients.
  • Researchers selected three Labrador retrievers and two Portuguese water dogs with no previous training, and over several weeks trained them using breath samples that had been exhaled into tubes by cancer patients.
  • The patients had all had their cancers confirmed by biopsy. The tests were double-blind, so neither the dog handlers nor the experimenters knew which tubes were which.

Dog Results

  • The dogs correctly detected 99% of the lung cancer samples, and made a mistake with only 1% of the healthy controls.
  • With breast cancer, they correctly detected 88% of the positive samples, and made a mistake on only 2% of the controls.
  • Results showed dogs can detect breast and lung cancer with sensitivity and specificity between 88 percent and 97 percent, the researchers reported.
dogs can detect bladder cancer and melanomas
Dogs can detect bladder cancer and melanomas
  • In a study published in the British Medical Journal , the researchers set out to find out if dogs can be trained to identify bladder cancer solely on the odor of urine.
    • The dogs used in the study correctly identified bladder cancer inurine 41% of the time. It is evident that bladder cancer gives off an odor or compound that can be detected by dogs
  • An expert in melanomas, began researching if dogs could detect skin cancer, enlisting the help of a dog trainer, and samples of melanomas trying to train dogs to sniff out skin cancer.
    • George, the dog used in the study, was able to detect the melanoma99% of the time.
    • Further research proved that George could detect malignant melanoma lesions from benign lesions on patients successfully.
Summary: Dogs can be trained to detect drugs and bombs, so why not cancer? Initial results show to be promising.
what are cancer vaccines
What are Cancer Vaccines?

Cancer vaccines are intended either to treat existing cancer or to prevent the development of cancer.

Cancer treatment vaccines are designed to strengthen the body's natural defenses against a cancer that has already developed.

These vaccines may:

  • Stop an existing tumor from growing,
  • Stop a tumor from coming back after it has been treated
  • Eliminate cancer cells not killed by previous treatments.

National Cancer Insitute

strategy of cancer vaccines
Strategy of Cancer Vaccines

There are several types of treatment vaccines under study, based on a number of different strategies.

Every type, however, works under the premise of using the body’s immune system to fight the cancer, which might entail making the cancer appear foreign – and more visible – to the immune system while at the same time, boosting the system’s response.

cancer vaccines
Cancer Vaccines
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved any cancer vaccine as a standard treatment for any type of cancer. Currently cancer-fighting vaccines are only available to those who enroll in clinical trials.
  • The FDA has, however, approved two vaccines that can help prevent cancer.
    • Vaccines preventing infection with two types of human papillomavirus (HPV) that cause nearly 70 percent of all cervical cancers .
    • Vaccine preventing infection with the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver cancer.
latest directions in research
Latest Directions in Research

Researchers hope that when a vaccine containing cancer-specific antigens is injected into a patient, these antigens will stimulate the immune system to attack cancer cells without harming normal cells.

More than 15 vaccines currently are in trials for a range of diseases, including lymphoma, melanoma, breast, lung, prostate and colorectal cancers, with mostly mixed results to date.

Some of the more widely publicized vaccines include:

  • The M-Vax melanoma vaccine, 17 years in development from AVAX Technologies, Inc., of Kansas City, Mo. Several years ago, a phase 2 trial found that 45 percent of patients who had surgery and received the vaccine lived for at least five years, compared to only 25 percent of those in the past who had surgery alone.
latest directions in research13
Latest Directions in Research
  • Canvaxin, a melanoma vaccine made by CancerVax Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif., consisting of cells from three melanoma cell lines and a weakened tuberculosis bacteria. Preliminary study results showed that the vaccine helped stage 3 melanoma patients live slightly longer.
Latest Directions in Research

In 2005, an uncontrolled trial of Provenge, an experimental cancer vaccine made by Seattle-based Dendreon, showed that men with advanced prostate cancer lived longer, though it did little to stop disease progression.

other vaccines that have reached unpublished phase iii trials
Other Vaccines that have reached Unpublished Phase III Trials
  • OncophageTM (HSPPC-96) for patients with Kidney Cancer
  • Biovaxid® and GTOP-99 MyVax® vaccine for Follicular B-cell Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma
  • GVAX® for prostate cancer, total of 3
  • Four unnamed vaccines for melanoma, total of 6 for melanoma
  • One unnamed vaccine for multiple myeloma
why aren t they more successful
Why Aren’t they More Successful?
  • The tumor antigens tested have been unable to elicit a sufficiently strong immune reaction.
  • Many individuals receiving treatment with cancer vaccines have already had – and failed – conventional chemotherapy and radiation, weakening their immune system and their responses to vaccines. The cancer is usually too much for even a boosted – but exhausted – immune system to eliminate.
  • Cancer cells can “learn” to evade the immune system.
  • Evidence from both animal and human studies showing that patients with minimal disease have better outcomes with cancer vaccines than those who are sicker – and who tend to be the patients who receive vaccines