The team working on this research passed through a weeklong “wash-out” process. In this process they used fragrance-free shampoos and soaps during washings and baths to avoid any type of smell from themselves during working. They wore T-shirts provided by the researchers to eliminate smells emitted from external means.
The researchers then took odor samples by touching a funnel with an absorbent fiber on the individual’s skin for half an hour. The remaining compounds on the skin were collected by washing it with an alcohol. Two other compounds are also found. We found two chemicals in particular that were significantly different when you compared a cancer patient with a healthy sub solution to collect compounds sitting on the surface. Both of them were collected from the body of healthy volunteers. One of them was abundantly found whereas other one was present in low concentration on the tumors in the cancer patients. The whole research work was disclosed at the American Chemical Society meeting held in Philadelphia.
The research scientists don’t know what biochemical pathway is producing these two compounds and they also don’t know what makes the change in their concentration. Paul Nghiem who is dermatologist of the University of Washington and the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, is not working with the research team but he says that there are chances that some physical or chemical reasons may be present behind these distinctive patterns of odors.
This research work is being considered as a breakthrough in the field of curing cancer. Some more research work is need; hopefully scientists would also do more towards that direction.