Sniffing Out Cancer | Melanoma Dispatch | Scoop.it

Researchers are working on an 'electronic nose' that could detect cancer by smell. The abnormal chemical processes inside cancer cells can lead to different substances being released from these cells than from healthy tissues, including different odor molecules. An electronic nose is a machine that uses numerous chemical sensors to detect odor molecules with higher sensitivity and accuracy than a human nose, or even a dog’s nose. Now scientists are examining blood samples from cancer patients and healthy individuals to determine the patterns that distinguish the two and to program an electronic nose to recognize the difference. The hope is that a future 'smell test' may be able to reliably identify cancer in its early stages, without the need for invasive procedures.