Study Update: Early Detection of Ovarian Cancer Research Project

 

The Pine Street Foundation, with the collaboration of principal investigator Dr. Touradj Solouki at the University of Maine 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. Click here for more background information on this study.

We are doing this with sophisticated chemical analysis at Dr. Solouki’s University of Maine 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
So far, over 200 women have contacted us seeking to become enrolled in the study. Of those, 94 are currently eligible and include 13 women with ovarian cancer, 54 healthy controls, and 7 controls with endometriosis or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Study enrollment is still open for non-smoking women who have ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancer (newly diagnosed or recurrent), endometriosis, or polycystic ovarian syndrome. Click here to find out how you can donate a sample of your breath.

Canine Update
At the Pine Street Foundation’s training location, we have been training a team of five dogs, all of whom have reached the most advanced level of our training program. We will soon begin the post-training testing phase of the program, where we’ll be gathering the data that will be reported in scientific publications.

Laboratory Update
Dr. Solouki and his team at the University of Maine have worked diligently to continue to push the sensitivity of the analytical equipment, further increasing our ability to detect meaningful ovarian cancer biomarkers at ever lower concentrations. Dr. Solouki recently 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
This study is open for enrollment until December 31, 2009. You can also become involved in the study by volunteering to donate a sample of your breath as either a patient or control, work with the dogs, or by making a donating to our research program.

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