Urine odor analyzer might better diagnose bladder cancer | MassDevice.com On Call

July 10, 2013 by Sony Salzman

U.K. researchers say their OdorReader urine odor analyzer can detect bladder cancer earlier and at a lower cost.

MassDevice On Call

MASSDEVICE ON CALL — Inspired by studies demonstrating canine abilities to sniff out cancerous biomarkers, a team of U.K. researchers developed a scent-analysis device that they say can diagnose early signs of bladder cancer.

In a test of nearly 100 urine samples, the device, called OdorReader, was 100% accurate in distinguishing which samples came from cancer patients, researchers said. As an added bonus, the system delivers its diagnosis in just 30 minutes, according to a press release.

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Researchers hope the technology may be able to detect cancer earlier than current urine-testing methods.

"Each year approximately 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer," University of Liverpool's Institute of Translational Medicine professor Chris Probert said in prepared remarks. "It is a disease that, if caught early, can be treated effectively, but unfortunately we do not have any early screening methods other than diagnosis through urine tests at the stage when it starts to become a problem."

The device, which features a sensor that interprets fumes from urine and attempts to detect the presence of cancerous cells, may be able to dramatically cut bladder cancer treatment costs, according to the release.

"Bladder cancer is said to be the most expensive cancer to treat, due to repeated scopes to inspect the development of the cancer cells in the bladder," Probert added. "OdorReader has the potential to dramatically cut these costs by preventing scopes."