New Milestone for Device that Can 'Smell' Prostate Cancer

A research team from the University of Liverpool has reached an important milestone towards creating a urine diagnostic test for prostate cancer that could mean that invasive diagnostic procedures that men currently undergo eventually become a thing of the past.

'The use of a gas chromatography (GC)-sensor system combined with advanced statistical methods towards the diagnosis of urological malignancies', published today in the Journal of Breath Research, describes a diagnostic test using a special tool to 'smell' the cancer in men's urine.

Working in collaboration with the University of the West of England's (UWE Bristol) Urological Institute team at Southmead Hospital and Bristol Royal Infirmary, the pilot study included 155 men presenting to urology clinics. Of this group, 58 were diagnosed with prostate cancer, 24 with bladder cancer and 73 with haematuria or poor stream without cancer. The results of the pilot study using the GC sensor system indicate that it is able to successfully identify different patterns of volatile compounds that allow classification of urine samples from patients with urological cancers.

Urgent need for earlier diagnosis
Professor Chris Probert from the University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine began work on this project with UWE Bristol when he was working in Bristol as a gastroenterologist with clinical and research interest in inflammatory bowel disease.

The research team used a gas chromatography sensor system called Odoreader that was developed by a team led by Professor Probert and Professor Norman Ratcliffe at UWE Bristol. The test involves inserting urine samples into the Odoreader that are then measured using algorithms developed by the research team at the University of Liverpool and UWE Bristol.

Professor Probert said: "There is an urgent need to identify these cancers at an earlier stage when they are more treatable as the earlier a person is diagnosed the better. After further sample testing the next step is to take this technology and put it into a user friendly format. With help from industry partners we will be able to further develop the Odoreader, which will enable it to be used where it is needed most; at a patient's bedside, in a doctor's surgery, in a clinic or Walk In Centre, providing fast, inexpensive, accurate results."

Like an electronic nose
Professor Norman Ratcliffe said, "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. Our aim is to create a test that avoids this procedure at initial diagnosis by detecting cancer in a non-invasive way by smelling the disease in men's urine. A few years ago we did similar work to detect bladder cancer following a discovery that dogs could sniff out cancer. We have been using the Odoreader, which is like an electronic nose to sense the cancer."

"The Odoreader has a 30 metre column that enables the compounds in the urine to travel through at different rates thus breaking the sample into a readable format. This is then translated into an algorithm enabling detection of cancer by reading the patterns presented. The positioning of the prostate gland which is very close to the bladder gives the urine profile a different algorithm if the man has cancer."

Mr Raj Prasad, Consultant Urologist at Southmead Hospital, North Bristol NHS Trust, said: "If this test succeeds at full medical trial it will revolutionise diagnostics. Even with detailed template biopsies there is a risk that we may fail to detect prostate cancer in some cases. Currently indicators such as diagnosed prostatomegaly (enlarged prostate) and unusually high PSA levels can lead to recommendations for biopsy if there is a concern that cancer may be prevalent. An accurate urine test would mean that many men who currently undergo prostate biopsy may not need to do so."

The pilot trial was funded by the Rotary Club in Bristol who held annual Run for the Future events in Bristol.

The research team is now looking to fund a full clinical trial.

Most Popular Now

EyeFocus Eye Care Innovation Conference

31 January 2017, London, UK. EyeFocus is holding a one day conference about eye-care innovation to end the second EyeFocus program. The conference is instead of the traditional demo day, and...

Read more

New Virtual Reality Technology may Impro…

A combination of traditional physical therapy and technology may improve the motor skills and mobility of an impaired hand by having its partner, more mobile hand lead by example through...

Read more

European Commission Seeks Input on a Ref…

Smart wearables provide technology-based solutions to pressing societal and economic challenges in the areas of healthy ageing, elderly care, emergency management, safety at work, productivity enhancement, training of professionals, energy...

Read more

Top 20 eHealth News of 2016

Look back at the most prominent moments from the year 2016. We are proud to announce the 20 most popular eHealth News from 2016, the most commonly viewed news articles...

Read more

conhIT Newcomer Awards 2017: Health IT I…

25 - 27 April 2017, Berlin, Germany. By bringing representatives of the Health IT industry and other Healthcare institutions together with prospective young employees conhIT 2017, Europe's leading event for Health...

Read more

Philips and Leading Network of Healthcar…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) today announced the signing of a 10-year strategic partnership agreement with the Expert Group of Companies, one of Russia's leading network of healthcare centers...

Read more

Ireland's First Babies Born with an Elec…

The HSE and eHealth Ireland are delighted to announce the arrival of Emily, one of Ireland’s first newborns to have their own electronic health record from birth. Weighing 7lb 5oz...

Read more

MSD Innovation Factory: SMART STOCK Chal…

Pharmacy Chains in the EEMEA Region are growing rapidly. These are in the range of 150+ pharmacy outlets or so called PoS (Point of Sale). Thousands of prescriptions are being...

Read more

Dudley Group Adds Allscripts SunriseTM E…

In the fourth quarter of 2016, The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust selected Allscripts (NASDAQ:MDRX) fully integrated health IT solution to help achieve its objective to become a fully digital...

Read more

Philips Highlights Cloud-Based Innovatio…

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is showcasing innovative connected health products and solutions that empower consumers to become ever-more engaged in their health. Leveraging Philips' expertise in the consumer...

Read more

MSD Innovation Factory: INNOREP Challeng…

Nowadays, pharmaceutical launches are becoming harder and more competitive. In some cases, MSD products are neither the only nor the first player in the market. Besides, clinical data can be...

Read more

MSD Innovation Factory: EDU CARE Challen…

At healthcare professionals' waiting room around the globe there is a repeated scenario: inattentive patients spend their time before being seen by their healthcare professionals. Sometimes playing with their smartphones...

Read more
(HEALTH IT) SPACE - Take a look at who has just Joined