Noninvasive device for the canine detection of the volatile organic compounds associated to cervical cancer

Noninvasive device for the canine detection of the volatile organic compounds associated to cervical cancer

M. Rodríguez 1, H. Guerrero, T. Apresa 1, O. Garay 2, A. Sánchez 3, D. Flores 3, R. López 1, C. Bandala 4 and M. Salcedo 1

1 Laboratorio de Oncología Genómica, Unidad de Investigación Médica en Enfermedades Oncológicas, UMAE Hospital de Oncología, CMN- SXXI-IMSS,Mexico City, México
2 Servicio de Braquiterapia, UMAE Hospital de Oncología, CMN-SXXI-IMSS, Mexico City, México
3 PEC de México, S.A. de C.V., Mexico City, Mexico.
4 División de Neurociencias, Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitación (INR), Secretaría de Salud (S.S.), Mexico City, Mexico

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Cervical Cancer (CC) has become a public health concern of alarming proportions in many developing countries, particularly in low income and marginalized regions. Its early detection is a key medical factor to improve their population’s quality of life and life expectancy.

Interestingly, the use of trained sniffer dogs for cancer detection has increased. This represented a potential opportunity to develop an affordable, accessible, and non-invasive method for detection of CC.

Using clicker training, a male beagle was trained to recognize CC odor. During training, fresh CC biopsies were used as a reference point. Other samples used included cervical smears on glass slides and a noninvasive device used as intimate sanitary pad by CC patients. A double-blind procedure was exercised when testing the beagle's ability to discriminate CC from control samples. The beagle was proven able to detect CC-specific volatile organic compounds (VOC) contained in both fresh cervical smear samples and the noninvasive devices used by the patients. The success rate at detecting and discriminating CC and non-CC odors, according to the specificity and sensitivity values recorded during the experiment stood at >90%. CC-related VOC in the noninvasive devices were detectable after only eight hours of use by CC patients. Data supports the use of trained dogs and noninvasive devices as a viable, affordable, and noninvasive, therefore, highly relevant alternative method for detection of CC lesions. Additional benefits of this method include its quick turnaround time and ease of use while remaining highly accurate and robust.




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