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Cancer Biomark. 2010-2011;8(3):145-53. doi: 10.3233/CBM-2011-0208.

Volatile organic compounds as biomarkers of bladder cancer: Sensitivity and specificity using trained sniffer dogs.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Amersham Hospital, Amersham, Buckinghamshire, UK.

Abstract

In a previous canine study, we demonstrated that volatile organic compounds specific to bladder cancer are present in urine headspace, subsequently showing that up to 70% of tumours can be correctly classified using an electronic nose. This study aimed to evaluate the sensitivity and specificity which can be achieved by a group of four trained dogs. In a series of 30 double-blind test runs, each consisting of one bladder cancer urine sample placed alongside six controls, the highest sensitivity achieved by the best performing dog was 73% (95% CI 55-86%), with the group as a whole correctly identifying the cancer samples 64% (95% CI 55-73%) of the time. Specificity of the dogs individually ranged from 92% (95% CI 82-97%) for urine samples obtained from healthy, young volunteers down to 56% (95% CI 42-68%) for those taken from older patients with non-cancerous urological disease. Odds ratio comparisons confirmed a significant decrease in performance as the extent of urine dipstick abnormality and/or pathology amongst the control population increased. Importantly, however, statistical analysis indicated that covariates such as smoking, gender and age, as well as blood, protein and /or leucocytes in the urine did not significantly alter the odds of response to the cancer samples. Our results provide further evidence that volatile biomarkers for bladder cancer exist in urine headspace, and that these have the potential to be exploited for diagnosis.

PMID:
22012770
DOI:
10.3233/CBM-2011-0208
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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