New Tool Can ‘Smell’ Prostate Cancer In Urine

Posted: Feb 12 2016, 8:46pm CST | by , Updated: Feb 13 2016, 9:56pm CST, in News | Latest Science News


New Tool Can ‘Smell’ Prostate Cancer in Urine
Credit: Fox News

Scientists have created a new device that can detect prostate cancer by smelling.

Researchers have created a new tool that can detect prostate cancer by smelling it. It is believed that this tool will eventually make conventional diagnostic procedures for prostate cancer a thing of the past.

Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among men after skin cancer and nearly 28,000 American men died of this cancer in 2015. There are no effective, non-invasive tests to diagnose the disease and the current invasive tests that men undergo are unable to detect cancer accurately. The more urgently the cancer is diagnosed, the more it is treatable and early detection also increases the chances of survival. 

“There is currently no accurate test for prostate cancer, the vagaries of the PSA test indicators can sometimes result in unnecessary biopsies, resulting in psychological toll, risk of infection from the procedure and even sometimes missing cancer cases,” said professor Norman Ratcliffe from University of the West of England.

“Our aim is to create a test that avoids this procedure at initial diagnoses by detecting cancer in a non-invasive way by smelling the disease in men’s urine.”

The Odoreader device is a gas chromatography sensor system, which works like an ‘electronic nose’ for sensing cancer. Urine samples have been inserted into the Odoreader. The compound in the urine travels through at different rates and then algorithms detect the presence of the cancer.

Researchers tested the device on 155 men presenting at urology clinics and found that 58 of them were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 with bladder cancer while 73 had poor urinary system but no cancer.

Researchers found that this gas chromatography (GC) system was successfully able to identify and classify different types of urological cancer in patients through urine samples in the medical trial.

“After further sample testing the next step is to take this technology and put into a user friendly format,” said Professor Chris Probert from University of Liverpool.

“With help from industry partners we will be able to further develop the Odoreader which will enable it to be used where it needed most; at a patient’s bedside, in a doctor’s surgery, in a clinic or Walk in Center, providing fast, inexpensive, accurate results.”  

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Hira Bashir covers daily affairs around the world.




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