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Scientists discover way to detect skin cancer by its smell

Posted on Tuesday, August 26 2008 @ 06:13:41 CEST by


Researchers are working on a technique that could allow doctors to detect skin cancer by analyzing the smell of your skin:
All human skin releases chemicals called "volatile organic compounds", many of which do have a scent.

The researchers from the Monell Center used a technology called gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to identify their precise chemical composition.

A total of 22 patients, 11 with and 11 without basal cell carcinomas, were tested. All the air samples contained the same ingredients, but the equipment revealed that the patients with cancer had markedly different concentrations of certain chemicals.

Dr Michelle Gallagher, presenting the results of the project at the American Chemical Society's annual conference, said that a "profile" of the cancer could be built up.

"Our findings may someday allow doctors to screen for and diagnose skin cancers at very early stages," she said.
More info at BBC News.


 



 

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