Test hope to sniff out bladder cancer

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A DEVICE that can sniff out early signs of bladder cancer has been developed by British scientists.

The Odoreader smells urine and detects differences in the odour from people who have bladder cancer in just 30 minutes.

Around 10,000 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer each year but there are currently no reliable biomarkers to screen patients for the disease, unlike in breast or cervical cancers. This means the cancer is first diagnosed through urine tests at a stage when it starts to become a problem.

Researchers believe the Odoreader, which has a 100 per cent success rate, could lead to the development of early diagnostic tests.

Professor Norman Ratcliffe, from the Institute of Biosensor Technology at the University of the West of England, said, “Odoreader works by inserting a bottle containing the urine sample into the device. About 30 minutes later the Odoreader is capable of showing the diagnosis on the computer screen if sample derives from a patient with bladder cancer. It is simple to use and could be operated in a doctor’s surgery.”