Non-invasive Diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer Through Detection of Volatile Organic Compounds in Urine
MetadataShow full item record
With its incidence approaching mortality, and with over 300,000 new cases diagnosed worldwide in 2013, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) is currently the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death and predicted to become the second by 2030 (1). More than 80% of PDAC patients are diagnosed late, with locally invasive and/or metastatic disease, resulting in negligible 5-year survival. Timely detection of PDAC is hampered by several factors: lack of specific clinical symptoms in the early stages, insufficient sensitivity of current imaging modalities and a lack of accurate, clinically utilisable biomarkers (2). Thus the quest for a simple, inexpensive and non-invasive test to detect PDAC early - whilst it is still amenable to surgical resection, continues. Detection of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) has come to the fore offering a novel approach for the detection of disease. It uses the odours that emanate from urine, breath and faeces and is akin to canine ‘sniffing’. These compounds are metabolic products and/or consequence of bacterial dysbiosis produced by the disease state (3, 4). We thus postulate that either altered cellular physiology or even alteration in the microbial milieu in patients with PDAC will alter the individual’s metabolome profile, such that the resultant VOC patterns that are emitted provide a characteristic signature that can be detected.