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Respir Res. 2005 Jul 14;6:71.

Exhaled volatile organic compounds in patients with non-small cell lung cancer: cross sectional and nested short-term follow-up study.

Author information

1
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Prevention Research Center, University of Parma, Via Gramsci 14, 43100 Parma, Italy. dpoli7@unipr.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Non-invasive diagnostic strategies aimed at identifying biomarkers of lung cancer are of great interest for early cancer detection. The aim of this study was to set up a new method for identifying and quantifying volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled air of patients with non-small cells lung cancer (NSCLC), by comparing the levels with those obtained from healthy smokers and non-smokers, and patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. The VOC collection and analyses were repeated three weeks after the NSCLC patients underwent lung surgery.

METHODS:

The subjects' breath was collected in a Teflon bulb that traps the last portion of single slow vital capacity. The 13 VOCs selected for this study were concentrated using a solid phase microextraction technique and subsequently analysed by means of gas cromatography/mass spectrometry.

RESULTS:

The levels of the selected VOCs ranged from 10(-12) M for styrene to 10(-9) M for isoprene. None of VOCs alone discriminated the study groups, and so it was not possible to identify one single chemical compound as a specific lung cancer biomarker. However, multinomial logistic regression analysis showed that VOC profile can correctly classify about 80% of cases. Only isoprene and decane levels significantly decreased after surgery.

CONCLUSION:

As the combination of the 13 VOCs allowed the correct classification of the cases into groups, together with conventional diagnostic approaches, VOC analysis could be used as a complementary test for the early diagnosis of lung cancer. Its possible use in the follow-up of operated patients cannot be recommended on the basis of the results of our short-term nested study.

PMID:
16018807
PMCID:
PMC1185565
DOI:
10.1186/1465-9921-6-71
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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