NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwired - May 14, 2014) - The nose knows, in this case, whether or not you have prostate cancer. A new study reveals the electronic nose, or eNose, to be an effective tool for distinguishing between prostate cancer and benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) in urine samples. By "smelling" the headspace of a man's urine sample (the air just above the urine) the eNose achieved prostate cancer detection results on par with the widely used prostate-specific antigen (PSA) blood test.
Prior research demonstrated successful odor sampling with dogs, though with varying reliability. In contrast, the eNose offers the potential for more consistently accurate olfaction diagnostics. Using electronic sensors, the eNose creates a gas molecule profile from the urine headspace. That profile, or smell print, is able to achieve PSA-comparable results without any delay or physical discomfort to the patient. This is encouraging news to David Samadi, MD, Chairman of Urology and Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital.
"As medicine progresses, we find new ways to assess health and treat disease with as little disruption to the body as possible," said Dr. Samadi. "That is the guiding principle of robotic surgery, as well -- successful, minimally invasive prostate cancer treatment."
Researchers in Finland tested the eNose's ability to differentiate between biopsy-confirmed prostate cancer and BPH. Since the test requires only a urine sample, it could mean big changes for future prostate cancer diagnosis. "With continued success, the eNose has the potential to significantly reduce healthcare costs, improve patient comfort, and increase screening compliance," Dr. Samadi said.
The eNose was able to detect prostate cancer with 78 percent sensitivity and 67 percent specificity. Unlike the PSA test, eNose success was not impacted by prostate tumor size. Results were published in the Journal of Urology, http://www.jurology.com/article/S0022-5347%2814%2900303-6/abstract
"One of the major wins of medical technology innovation is improving the way we detect and treat a patient's primary condition. Techniques like robotic prostate surgery and the eNose allow the physician and the patient to focus on overcoming the single most pressing health concern without introducing new obstacles or recovery needs," said Dr. Samadi.