A pilot study combining a GC-sensor device with a statistical model for the identification of bladder cancer from urine headspace

Tanzeela Khalid, Paul White, Ben De Lacy Costello, Raj Persad, Richard Ewen, Emmanuel Johnson, Chris S Probert, Norman Ratcliffe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


There is a need to reduce the number of cystoscopies on patients with haematuria. Presently there are no reliable biomarkers to screen for bladder cancer. In this paper, we evaluate a new simple in-house fabricated, GC-sensor device in the diagnosis of bladder cancer based on volatiles. Sensor outputs from 98 urine samples were used to build and test diagnostic models. Samples were taken from 24 patients with transitional (urothelial) cell carcinoma (age 27-91 years, median 71 years) and 74 controls presenting with urological symptoms, but without a urological malignancy (age 29-86 years, median 64 years); results were analysed using two statistical approaches to assess the robustness of the methodology. A two-group linear discriminant analysis method using a total of 9 time points (which equates to 9 biomarkers) correctly assigned 24/24 (100%) of cancer cases and 70/74 (94.6%) controls. Under leave-one-out cross-validation 23/24 (95.8%) of cancer cases were correctly predicted with 69/74 (93.2%) of controls. For partial least squares discriminant analysis, the correct leave-one-out cross-validation prediction values were 95.8% (cancer cases) and 94.6% (controls). These data are an improvement on those reported by other groups studying headspace gases and also superior to current clinical techniques. This new device shows potential for the diagnosis of bladder cancer, but the data must be reproduced in a larger study.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e69602
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Biosensing Techniques/instrumentation
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Chromatography, Gas/instrumentation
  • Discriminant Analysis
  • Humans
  • Least-Squares Analysis
  • Linear Models
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Models, Statistical
  • Pilot Projects
  • Time Factors
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms/diagnosis

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