Odors can identify and differentiate three stages of melanoma


The human skin produces numerous airborne chemical molecules known as volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, many of which are odorous. “There is a potential wealth of information waiting to be extracted from examination of VOCs associated with various diseases, including cancers, genetic disorders, and viral or bacterial infections,” notes George Preti, PhD, an organic chemist at Monell who is one of the paper’s senior authors.

A Melanoma nodule (From National Cancer Insitute)

A Melanoma nodule (From National Cancer Insitute)

Philadelphia based, The Monell Chemical Senses Center has an innovative way of detecting melanoma through a unique odor signature detection technique.  Tiny, nano-sized tubes can be bioengineered to recognize among other targets, a variety of odor factors which could evaluate the stage of a disease progression. Before this discovery can be brought to a doctor’s office, a portable measuring device has to be invented.

Examine your own skin regularly to know what is normal for you says Melanoma Research Foundation. Moles might resemble Melanoma but are usually benign or non-cancerous.  It is safer to take annual photos of your moles to detect any abnormal rate or changes.

If you wish to fund or encourage any aspect of this research do not hesitate to contact the researchers at:

George Preti, Monell Chemical Senses Center, 3500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104, USA

You may want to read the original scientific article: Jae Kwak, Michelle Gallagher, Mehmet Hakan Ozdener, Charles J. Wysocki, Brett R. Goldsmith, Amaka Isamah, Adam Faranda, Steven S. Fakharzadeh, Meenhard Herlyn, A.T. Charlie Johnson, George Preti. Volatile biomarkers from human melanoma cellsJournal of Chromatography B, 2013; DOI: 10.1016/j.jchromb.2013.05.007

How to self – diagnose Melanoma?
What is melanoma? Mayo Clinic of Cleveland has a slide show on how to identify and self examine for melanoma, a skin cancer.

Melanoma Research Foundation has good photos on what Melanoma might look like.

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