Background: Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) present in breath of lung cancer patients and released by lung cancer cells were determined. As a reference sample breath collected from healthy volunteers and lung segments of cells with proper morphology were used.
Methods: Solid phase microextraction and gas chromato-graphy mass spectrometry (SPME-GC/MS) method was applied for VOC analysis. Statistical methods have been developed to find similarities between patterns of investigated compounds within three populations of samples: exhaled air samples from patients with lung cancer, headspace of lung tissues with healthy and cancer cells.
Results: Quantitative analysis of VOCs in the headspace of lung tissues revealed that cancer cells released higher concentrations of ethanol, acetone, carbon disulfide, dimethyl sulfide, 1-propanol, 2-propanol, 2-butanone and 2-pentanone than healthy tissues. The increase of concentration of the same compounds was observed in the breath of patients with lung cancer in comparison to breath from healthy non-smoking volunteers.
Conclusions: Detection of lung cancer is possible by volatile biomarkers analysis in breath.