The Pine Street Foundation, with the collaboration of principal investigator Dr. Touradj Solouki at Baylor University, and the support of US government funding, has been conducting a study on the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Our goal with this study is to find out if analysis of exhaled breath can become an accurate, simple, and non-invasive test for ovarian cancer that can be used in a clinical setting to find women with ovarian while it is still in its early stages.
We are doing this with sophisticated chemical analysis at Dr. Solouki’s Baylor University laboratory and with a team of trained dogs at the Pine Street Foundation’s offices in California. We also hope the results of our research will help to predict whether a woman’s ovarian cancer will recur after treatment or become resistant to treatment.
The recruitment phase of the study has now concluded. Recruitment was drawn from the Pine Street Foundation’s public outreach efforts and with assistance from area hospitals, most notably the University of California at San Francisco.
At the Pine Street Foundation’s training location, we trained a team of five dogs, all of whom have reached the most advanced level of our training program. We have completed the analysis of the data and are now preparing the manuscript that will be reported in scientific publications.
Dr. Solouki and his team at Baylor University have worked diligently to continue to assess the utility of exhaled breath analysis as a way to detect meaningful ovarian cancer biomarkers. Dr. Solouki joined Michael McCulloch, the Pine Street Foundation’s Director of Research, at a conference sponsored by the Canary Foundation to present a poster session on our exhaled breath analysis study.
How You Can Become Involved
You can help support our efforts to spread the word on canine scent detection by making a donating to our research fund. Your support will help us publish this paper in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal that is Open Access, meaning that readers can access the full report without a costly scientific journal subscription. The page charges (that we have to pay) can cost $5,000 or more, so gifts of any size will really make a difference.
It’s been another fantastic year at the Pine Street Foundation…we’ve published peer-reviewed research, presented papers at conferences, received lots of media coverage in the national press, hosted community events, and made huge strides with all our other ongoing research projects. Here are some of the highlights:
Colon Cancer and Chemotherapy We have been awarded a $70,243 one-year research grant from the prestigious Institute of East-West Medicine of New York to conduct a meta-analysis in which we will systematically identify all published randomized trials that provided patients who have colon cancer with Chinese herbs in combination with their chemotherapy. We will be looking for the impact of Chinese herbal medicine on both immediate results (do people using herbal medicine experience less damage to white blood cells or less drug toxicity?) and long-term results (do people using herbal medicine live longer after treatment and is their quality of life better?), as compared to treatment with chemotherapy alone. Click here to learn more.
Canine Scent Detection of Cancer
We have been awarded a $100,000 two-year research grant from the prestigious Robmar Foundation to provide mentorship for other researchers and dog trainers working to train dogs in scent detection. We will expand our work in developing the Human-Dog bond, building on our prior work with ovarian cancer, to also include lung cancer, breast cancer, and prevention of bladder cancer caused by chonically acute bladder infections in paraplegics. This establishes an important scientific requirement facing the field of canine scent detection in human health: replication of prior work by different groups working with different populations of patients. Click here to learn more.
Publication and Follow-up Presentations: Our Lung and Colon Cancer Survival Studies
Following official publication in December 2011, we spent 2012 presenting our work to clinicians and researchers across the country. These studies represented the results of ten years of treatment and follow-up for patients with lung and colon cancers and were the first to apply modern statistical analysis techniques to the analysis of data from patients treated with Chinese medicine for lung or colon cancer. We believe these papers will help set a new standard for rigorous analysis of data from non-randomized trials. Click here for more.
Clinical Advocacy for Patients with Cancer:
In collaboration with the Commonweal Retreat Center, we participated in a workshop and public presentation on the ways in which clinical advocates help people with cancer. Included in our presentations was a discussion of the past, present, and future of clinical advocacy, Pine Street’s approach to Chinese Medicine-based integrative care, and how to work with patients who are reluctant or are refusing conventional care. Click here for more.
How You Can Help
Whether you’ve known us since 1989 or have only recently discovered our work, it is important to note that the Pine Street Foundation is one of the most efficient and cost-effective research organizations of its kind in the country. And since the vast majority of all our funding comes from individual donors like you, your financial support truly helps us advance the field of integrative medicine and beenfits those in need of better treatments.
In collaboration with the Commonweal Retreat Center of Bolinas, Calif., we participated in a workshop and public presentation on the ways in which clinical advocates can help people with cancer. Included in our presentation was a discussion of the past, present, and future of clinical advocacy, our approach to Chinese Medicine-based integrative care, and how to work with patients who are reluctant or are refusing conventional care.
Scent lineups are a powerful tool in the investigation of crimes. With proper procedures, both forensic and judicial, scent lineups can be valuable evidence for a jury to consider. Unfortunately, many courts have been willing to admit poorly conducted procedures, even if giving lip service to the fact that the scent lineup was deficient by saying that its admission was harmless error. The tendency of some courts to view scent lineups as an extension of scent tracking has resulted in admission of scent lineup evidence under inappropriate standards. Tracking cases have set foundational requirements from long-held social and judicial assumptions about the accuracy of dogs. Although no specific set of training procedures or testing protocols need be imposed for the conduct of scent lineups, protocols with elements that have produced highly reliable results should be developed by law enforcement authorities and insisted upon by courts. The authors believe that scent lineups under such protocols can now satisfy the Daubert standard for admissibility of scientific evidence, though perhaps not the Frye standard (because of the lack of general acceptance in the scientific community). Because the possibility of a false identification cannot be completely eliminated, corroboration by other evidence should be required, probably at a clear and convincing level. This is the first every systematic review critically evaluating all the known scientific evidence for the use of canine scent detection in law enforcement
We seek to compare vitamin D blood test results of two different labs: Quest and LabCorp. We are willing to pay your costs, up to $100, once we get copies of both tests results, drawn on the same day, and your receipts. To participate, you need to find a doctor or clinic in your area that uses Quest and call your doctor and arrange for a 25-hydroxy-vitamin D blood test done by Quest. This will cost anywhere from $50 to $150 dollars. In the meantime, you will need to arrange to have your blood tested by LabCorp the same day. Thus, you will be having your blood drawn twice on the same day, one sample sent to Quest and the other sample sent to LabCorp. The easiest and cheapest way to arrange for the LabCorp test is through Life Extension Foundation: call 1-800-544-4440 and let the operator know you are ordering this test in conjunction with the Vitamin D Council study. The price will be $35.25 for the LabCorp 25(OH)D test through Life Extension.
John Cannell, MD, 1241 Johnson Ave., #134, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 firstname.lastname@example.org
At first glance, cancer researcher Michael McCulloch’s lab at the Pine Street Foundation in San Rafael, Calif., looks predictably humdrum — a computer, a few beakers and some vials. And yet, if you look a little closer, there’s something downright peculiar about the place. Most notably, the water bowls, leashes and the roll of paper towels used for sopping up slobber.
We are seeking two volunteers to help with one of our cancer research project in downtown San Anselmo, California. Volunteers must be 18 years of age or older. Please call (415) 342-0886 or email us if you’re interested in helping.
Volunteer Position 1
Light cleaning, set-up, and break-down on Mondays from Noon until 1pm (1 hour). Mopping floors after dogs leave, vacuuming, moving lightweight but bulky dog crates from one room to another, setting up room for breath sample subjects. You will be working with 1 to 2 other experienced volunteers.
Volunteer Position 2 Can you post fliers for us around Marin county for our cancer research study? Fliers are ready now and can be picked up in downtown San Anselmo or mailed to you.
Everyone knows that dogs have great noses. We’ve put them to work detecting explosives, drugs, and missing people. Next assignment: sniffing out cancer.
Tessy, a yellow Labrador retriever, was destined to be a guide dog—she was born at the Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael, California, after all. But when an infection left her blind in one eye, Tessy had to leave the family business. Thankfully, she still had the asset dogs are famous for—her nose. And with it, she’s found a second career: sniffing out ovarian cancer in women.