Dog can smell thyroid cancer in patients, Arkansas researchers find BY David Harding Kritchanut/Getty Images/iStockphoto A German shepherd dog like this is an uncanny thyroid cancer detector, say researchers at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. A dog studied in Arkansas has been used to sniff out thyroid cancer. Frankie the German shepherd had an 88% success rate after correctly sniffing 30 out of 34 patients, reports the BBC. A team at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences carried out the research. They said the animal had an "unbelievable" sense of smell. The thyroid is a neck gland which produces hormones to regulate metabolism. There are more than 62,000 cases diagnosed in the U.S. every year, the majority in women. The Arkansas team had already shown that a dog could be trained to smell the difference in urine samples between patients who had thyroid cancer and those who did not. The latest study takes it a step further, successfully making the dog's nose a diagnostic test. Researchers told Frankie to lie down when he could smell the cancer and turn away if the urine was clean. In 30 cases, the dog gave the correct diagnosis. Dr. Donald Bodenner, chief of endocrine oncology at UAMS, said: "The capability of dogs to smell minute amounts is unbelievable. The medical community over the next few years is going to have a great appreciation (for them)."