Differentiating head and neck carcinoma from lung carcinoma with an electronic nose: a proof of concept study

Michel van Hooren*, Nicoline Leunis, Dirk S. Brandsma, Anne-Marie C. Dingemans, Bernd Kremer, Kenneth W. Kross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Disease specific patterns of volatile organic compounds can be detected in exhaled breath using an electronic nose (e-nose). The aim of this study is to explore whether an e-nose can differentiate between head and neck, and lung carcinoma. Eighty-seven patients received an e-nose measurement before any oncologic treatment. We used PARAFAC/TUCKER3 tensor decomposition for data reduction and an artificial neural network for analysis to obtain binary results; either diagnosed as head and neck or lung carcinoma. Via a leave-one-out method, cross-validation of the data was performed. In differentiating head and neck from lung carcinoma patients, a diagnostic accuracy of 93 % was found. After cross-validation of the data, this resulted in a diagnostic accuracy of 85 %. There seems to be a potential for e-nose as a diagnostic tool in HNC and lung carcinoma. With a fair diagnostic accuracy, an e-nose can differentiate between the two tumor entities.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3897-3903
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2016


  • Volatile organic compounds
  • Electronic nose
  • Head and neck carcinoma
  • Lung carcinoma
  • Diagnosis

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