Weaving together biology and technology to save people’s lives
SpotitEarly, an Israeli Start Up, is exploring for early detection of cancers based on olfactory abilities of dogs. Each type of cancer has a unique odor, and most also have a common denominator. Dogs can detect these odors in a fraction of a second.
The SpotitEarly’s technology joins Algorithms and AI with the olfactory abilities of dogs. The test can detect the presence of several cancers in one person’s body: lung, prostate, breast, and colon cancer, with the company saying that more types will follow in the future.
As per the Spotitearly team, the test has been developed thanks to the discovery of the “cancer odor”. It is now known that cancerous tumors in their early stages secrete, first into the blood and then into the respiratory system, molecules carrying volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Each type of cancer has a unique odor, and most also have a common denominator. Dogs can detect these odors in a fraction of a second, and their sensitivity to the scents has been proven in several studies to be greater than those of any medical tests or devices currently in use. In terms of patients, the screening comes down to wearing a designated mask and breathing into it for the duration of five minutes. The screening test can be carried out from the patient’s residence, screening institute, or clinic. At the end of this process, the mask is placed in a hermetically sealed package and sent back to the company’s lab.
The lab is planned to work completely autonomously: the samples are inserted into sniffing ports within the lab. The trained dogs then quickly go through the sniffing ports. Each sample is scanned by a number of dogs in a unique method, in any case where a dog identifies an odor associated with a positive cancer sample they provide a clear indication. SpotitEarly’s unique methodology, trains the dogs to scan the breath samples in a manner experienced by the dogs as a stimulating playtime. The scanning process for each sample takes only a few seconds and holds the potential to save lives or alternatively spare long months of stress and anxiety while waiting for scanning results for healthy patients.
The whole process is analyzed in real-time by a technological system, designed by the company including dynamic sensors, AI systems, and algorithmics aimed to maximize the lab’s capabilities and the predication accuracy.
The company is in the process of one of the most extensive clinical studies in this field in the world, led by the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv and the Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem, to prove the test’s efficacy. In the preliminary phase, SpotitEarly studied 700 verified samples and showed that the test has very high sensitivity in detecting the presence of a variety of cancers, even in the early stages. Early detection raises the chances of recovery significantly.
For more information please contact: Tejinder Singh (Tejinder.Singh@israeltrade.gov.il)