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UK researchers tested a revolutionary tool to smell prostate cancer in urine samples during a small scale trial. The research team at the University of Liverpool conducted the trial in collaboration with researchers from the UWE Bristol.
According to the joint press release, the trial results indicate a milestone in detecting prostate cancer using urine samples. If the revolutionary tool is successful in a large clinical trial, this could mean the end for invasive procedures men are currently undergoing for prostate cancer to be detected.
Current procedures to detect prostate cancer aren’t only invasive, but also rather inefficient. Some are inconclusive and some are too lengthy to enable early detection and prevention strategies. However, a revolutionary tool to smell prostate cancer in urine samples may change the status-quo.
The research team used gas chromatography (GC), a sensor system integrated in the Odoreader system developed in 2009 at UWE Bristol. The gas chromatography sensory system was used in addition to statistical data collected during previous studies. The results of the project are published in the Journal of Breath Research.
What the Odoreader sensor system does is ‘smell’ prostate cancer in urine samples. The system reads patterns and indicators, computing all available data to suggest the presence of certain indicators of prostate cancer based on urine samples.
The trial was conducted with the help of 155 men who sought the advice of UK urology clinics. Following tests, 58 men were diagnosed with prostate cancer. Another 24 men were diagnosed with bladder cancer. 73 men weren’t diagnosed with cancer but were found to have haematuria.
Urine samples collected from the 155 patients were run through the Odoreader sensor system. The urine samples were analyzed using algorithms set in place by the joint research team. The GC sensor system successfully identified volatile compounds present in different combinations. The process led to the detection of urological cancers based on urine samples collected from the men.
Provided the results are replicated in a larger clinical trial, the Odoreader sensor system enriched with the algorithms developed by the research team could become a key tool in early detection of prostate cancer and other urological cancers.
Further testing using urine samples is certainly a necessary step. Afterwards, the GC sensor system can efficiently be shifted to a user friendly format and made widely available. The researchers hope that the a revolutionary tool to smell prostate cancer in urine samples could be installed anywhere for easy, inexpensive access.
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