Technology

VOC Diagnostics’ innovation is based on research findings that patients with certain diseases emit organic substances, known as "Volatile Organic Compounds” (VOCs), which can be detected by their scent. This innovation is now facing its breakthrough for the detection of ovarian cancer.

VOC Diagnostics' instrument has the ability to detect specific VOCs from a blood sample. The compounds are measured and analyzed in an advanced algorithm. Within 10 minutes, an easy to read result is reported.

The instrument and analysis method has shown unprecedented performance, with 92% sensitivity and 93% specificity. The sensitivity is so high that, in addition to being used for regular diagnostics in health care, the product is a healthy, economically feasible means of screening a population to detect cancer during its earliest stages.

The importance of early diagnosis

Ovarian cancer discovered in stages I-II have relatively good survival prognosis according to studied cases. However, about 70% of all newly diagnosed ovarian cancers in Sweden belong to stages III-IV which requires surgery and chemotherapy. Therefore, discovering ovarian cancer during its earliest stages is imperative.

 

Research


György Horvath, the founder of VOC Diagnostics initiated research on Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) based on their reported usefulness in cancer diagnosis. Three initial studies were conducted with two specially trained dogs. The studies were published internationally during 2008-2013 and showed the following:

• Human ovarian cancer is surrounded by a specific odor (VOC) that is organ-specific
• VOCs from ovarian cancer can be distinguished from VOCs that occur around normal ovarian tissue as well as other forms of cancer
• These specific VOCs occur in relatively high concentration in the patient's blood
• Characteristic VOCs are present in the bloodstreams of patients with semi-malignant so-called borderline tumors, as well as early stages of invasive cancer
• VOC-based diagnostics are superior to other methods used in healthcare

Further studies showed that eleven specific VOCs were found to be associated and characteristic to ovarian cancer. The prototype instrument’s algorithm was trained on a large number of cancer and control samples. In 2015 a new study was launched including 165 samples, where 97 of them were ovarian cancer samples and 68 were controls from healthy individuals. The very promising results of 92% sensitivity and 93% specificity were published in the Journal of Cancer Science & Therapy. Based on the promising findings a first prototype of an electric nose was built. The idea was to develop an instrument that could diagnose cancer through the detection of VOCs.

 

Publications

We value research and evaluate performance of our innovative technology through clinical trials.