Materials and methods: In a prospective, multi-centre study, using 10 electronic nose devices, 144 subjects diagnosed with NSCLC and 146 healthy subjects, including subjects considered negative for NSCLC after investigation, breathed into the Aeonose™ (The eNose Company, Zutphen, Netherlands). Also, analyses into subtypes of NSCLC, such as adenocarcinoma (AC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC), and analyses of patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) were performed.
Results: Choosing a cut-off point to predominantly rule out cancer resulted for NSCLC in a sensitivity of 94.4%, a specificity of 32.9%, a positive predictive value of 58.1%, a negative predictive value (NPV) of 85.7%, and an area under the curve (AUC) of 0.76. For AC sensitivity, PPV, NPV, and AUC were 81.5%, 56.4%, 79.5%, and 0.74, respectively, while for SCC these numbers were 80.8%, 45.7%, 93.0%, and 0.77, respectively. SCLC could be ruled out with a sensitivity of 88.9% and an NPV of 96.8% with an AUC of 0.86.
Conclusion: Electronic nose technology with the Aeonose™ can play an important role in rapidly excluding lung cancer due to the high negative predictive value for various, but not all types of lung cancer. Patients showing positive breath tests should still be subjected to further diagnostic testing.
- Electronic nose
- Exhaled breath analysis
- Lung cancer
- Diagnostic test
- 22/4 OA procedure