Ion mobility spectrometry coupled to a multi capillary column (MCC/IMS) is currently evaluated for the analysis of exhaled breath to diagnose lung cancer. The origin of specific volatile organic compounds (VOC) detected in patients with non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) still remains unknown.
We wondered wether there are different VOCs in bronchi close to the tumour and the lung of a cancer patient in general.10 patients with histologically proven peripheral NSCLC were included in the study. During flexible bronchoscopy a catheter connected to an MCC/IMS was introduced through the working channel of the bronchoscope. Gas samples were aspirated from the tumour bearing side and the contralateral lung.
There were no adverse events. In the measured data set 61 common peaks could be detected. Four peak intensities were significantly different between the tumour bearing site and the unaffected side lung. Among these peaks, three peaks were significantly higher and one was lower on the tumour site. Two peaks showed a difference between both lungs only for adenocarcinoma and one particularly in patients with squamous cell and undifferentiated NSCLC
Some VOCs are present in a different concentration in the air near by a NSCLC than in a distance of the tumour. Therefore these VOCs may reflect metabolic products of the tumour.
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