A PILOT STUDY SUGGESTS THAT A GAS CHROMOTGRAPHY SENSOR SYSTEM CAN BE USED TO ‘SMELL’ PROSTATE CANCER
A research team from the University of Liverpool and the University of West England is one step closer to a urine diagnostic test for prostate cancer which would replace the tissue biopsy as a diagnostic tool. The use of a gas chromatography (GC) sensor system may be used to ‘smell’ the cancer in men’s urine.
Currently, tissue biopsy is an invasive method used to diagnose prostate cancer. According to Mr. Raj Prasad, a Consultant Urologist at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, indicators such as an enlarged prostate and high prostate specific antigen (PSA) levels can lead to recommendations for a biopsy which may fail to detect prostate cancer in some cases.
In a pilot study conducted in collaboration with the Bristol Urological Institute team at Southmead Hospital and the British Royal Infirmary, the GC sensor system called the Odoreader analysed the urine of 155 men, 58 diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 with bladder cancer and 73 with haematuria. The Odoreader allows compounds found in the urine to travel at different rates which is then translated into an algorithm. Pattern analysis allows for the classification of urine samples aiding in the detection of prostate cancer.
According to Professor Probert and Professor Norman Ratcliffe of UWE Bristol early detection of prostate cancer results in better treatment outcomes. Since there is no accurate test for prostate cancer their goal is to create a non-invasive accurate urine test that essentially acts as an electronic nose by ‘smelling’ the disease in men’s urine. Additional benefits of a urine test would be eliminating the psychological impact and infection risk associated with biopsies. With further technological development and a user friendly format the Odoreader may have promising clinical applications as an efficient, inexpensive and accurate diagnostic tool.
University of Liverpool News Release:
Written by Aurelie Hartawidjojo