Study Update: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer Research Project

The Pine Street Foundation, with the collaboration of principal investigator Dr. Touradj Solouki at Baylor University, and the support of US government funding, has been conducting a study on the early diagnosis of ovarian cancer. Our goal with this study is to find out if analysis of exhaled breath can become an accurate, simple, and non-invasive test for ovarian cancer that can be used in a clinical setting to find women with ovarian while it is still in its early stages.

We are doing this with sophisticated chemical analysis at Dr. Solouki’s Baylor University laboratory and with a team of trained dogs at the Pine Street Foundation’s offices in California. We also hope the results of our research will help to predict whether a woman’s ovarian cancer will recur after treatment or become resistant to treatment.

Recruitment Update
The recruitment phase of the study has now concluded. Recruitment was drawn from the Pine Street Foundation’s public outreach efforts and with assistance from area hospitals, most notably the University of California at San Francisco.

Canine Update
At the Pine Street Foundation’s training location, we trained a team of five dogs, all of whom have reached the most advanced level of our training program. We have completed the analysis of the data and are now preparing the manuscript that will be reported in scientific publications.

Laboratory Update
Dr. Solouki and his team at Baylor University have worked diligently to continue to assess the utility of exhaled breath analysis as a way to detect meaningful ovarian cancer biomarkers. Dr. Solouki joined Michael McCulloch, the Pine Street Foundation’s Director of Research, at a conference sponsored by the Canary Foundation to present a poster session on our exhaled breath analysis study.

How You Can Become Involved
You can help support our efforts to spread the word on canine scent detection by making a donating to our research fund. Your support will help us publish this paper in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal that is Open Access, meaning that readers can access the full report without a costly scientific journal subscription. The page charges (that we have to pay) can cost $5,000 or more, so gifts of any size will really make a difference.

Johanna Altgelt, Kirk Turner, Michael McCulloch, Kathy O’Brien, and Jett Gulbronsen pose with Tessy and Captain Jennings at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California

Johanna Altgelt, Kirk Turner, Michael McCulloch, Kathy O’Brien, and Jett Gulbronsen pose with Tessy and Captain Jennings at the Pine Street Foundation in San Anselmo, California

Tessy, a three-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, sniffs at boxes containing breath samples from women with ovarian cancer and from healthy controls and determines which is which

Tessy, a three-year-old yellow Labrador retriever, sniffs at boxes containing breath samples from women with ovarian cancer and from healthy controls and determines which is which

Tessy closes in on which breath sample was given by a woman with ovarian cancer

Tessy closes in on which breath sample was given by a woman with ovarian cancer

 

A breath sample cartridge inside a weighted training box

A breath sample cartridge inside a weighted training box