Frequently Asked Questions
The company’s mission is to improve healthcare and lower cost through early detection of disease.
Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are molecules released in high numbers from liquids or solids. Most scents or odors are caused by VOCs escaping into the air.
Tests done that look for components, indicative of cancer, circulating in a blood sample. Liquid biopsies have several advantages over tissue biopsies. They are much less invasive, less expensive and easily repeatable. Traditionally, these tests search for cancer cells from a tumor or for tiny fragments of DNA from tumor cells. VOC Health’s novel approach looks for volatile organic compounds (VOCs.)
Rather than searching for free floating cells or DNA fragments, VOC Health looks to identify volatile organic compounds (VOCs) created by bio-responses in the body, prior to tumor formation. These components are more abundant and do not require reagents or expensive DNA sequencing to analyze.
Early detection of cancer increases survivability from an average of 10-15% to over 90%.
Volatile organic compounds, the component we look to identify, are produced at the very onset of a disease prior to tumor formation. In contrast, free-floating tumor cells or DNA fragments from a tumor require time for the tumor to grow before they are present.
Our initial tests, performed at the University of Pennsylvania, successfully detected ovarian cancer with extreme accuracy. The tests detected ovarian cancer, as early as stage I, and resulted in 99% specificity (true negatives) and 95% sensitivity (true positives.)
Unfortunately, there are currently no reliable tests for gynecological cancers, according to the American Cancer Society. To our knowledge, other liquid biopsies in development have had less accurate results on later stage cancers.
Yes. We believe, and research indicates, that once the VOC signature of other cancers have been decoded, we will be able to detect them at an early stage as well.
Research indicates that bio-responses in the body caused by other diseases create volatile organic compounds much the way cancers do. We believe these VOCs can be decoded and identified to detect these diseases as well.
Yes, we know that virus, specifically COVID-19 produces unique VOC signatures. In fact, our researchers are currently training canines to identify the virus with over 95% accuracy.
Initial research into VOC detection using urine and saliva have been very promising. We believe we can achieve the same results we do with blood once the VOC signal is properly amplified.
Our plan includes miniaturizing the current lab-bench apparatus for commercial use, adding additional nanosensors to increase sensitivity and obtaining FDA clearance. As additional cancer signatures are decoded, networked devices can be scaled through software updates.
Dogs were trained to smell ovarian cancer by Dr. Cynthia Otto’s team at the School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania. A nanosensor was then built to detect what the dogs were smelling by Dr. A.T. Charlie Johnson at the University of Pennsylvania. Finally, ovarian cancer’s VOC signature was decoded to allow for detection of the cancer using volatile organic compounds (VOCs.)