Loading...

Media is loading
 

Date

12-8-2020 11:10 AM

Abstract

Early cancer diagnosis and treatment dramatically improves the likelihood of survival and plays a pivotal role in reducing patient mortality rates. Despite growing research focus, early characteristic clinical symptoms for most types of cancer remain unidentified; however, measurement of cancer-specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) hold promise for diagnosing early-stage cancer. For instance, the Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT), developed by Hirotsu et al. (2015), reported a natural attraction of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes to cancer-patient derived samples and repulsion from healthy control samples in a concentration-specific manner. C. elegans have well-developed olfactory capabilities that assist them in finding food (bacteria) and mates and avoiding predators. C. elegans attraction to cancer-derived samples is likely due to their attraction to a VOC(s) that is also naturally produced by their bacterial food sources. My project expands a previous literature review to identify cancer-specific VOCs likely to elicit C. elegans’ attractive response to cancer-patient derived samples and analyzes NSDT data using two VOCs of interest (Valeraldehyde and 2-Octanone). This research will aid in identifying the olfactory receptors and ligands responsible for C. elegans’ behavioral response, which could ultimately result in development of a reliable non-invasive, chemical-based early cancer detection test.

Biographies

Yuman Ng Major: Biology
Yuman Ng is majoring in Biology and a member of the Honors College at Portland State University. He is a McNair and S-Stem Scholar with a passion for studying Alzheimer’s disease and cancer to develop highly accurate early detection medical tests. He previously worked at the PSU Cultural Resource Center and hopes to give back to the community as a PSU University Studies Peer mentor with a focus on continual personal growth and seeking to bridge cultural communication gaps. He enjoys cooking and hopes to one day cook well enough where he can also enjoy eating his own cooking. He is finishing his bachelors and would like to pursue a combined medical doctor / PhD program.

Faculty Mentor: Dr. Suzanne Estes
Suzanne Estes is an Associate Professor of Biology and Special Assistant to the Dean of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Oregon and has been a member of PSU’s Department of Biology since 2005. She grew up in Ada, Oklahoma and received her bachelor's degree from East Central University, where she participated in the McNair Scholars Program. Dr. Estes' research focuses on the molecular and functional genetic underpinnings of both adaptive and maladaptive evolution. Her lab uses techniques of experimental evolution in the tiny model nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans, combined with genetic and genomic tools to study a range of topics including the molecular genetic bases of sperm size evolution and the role of new mutation in fitness evolution. Dr. Estes teaches a graduate course in research proposal development for new Biology graduate students and professional development workshops for STEM students

Disciplines

Medicine and Health Sciences

Persistent Identifier

https://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/33534

Share

COinS
 
Aug 12th, 11:10 AM

Expanding the Search for Cancer-emitting Volatile Organic Compounds: A Review and Caenorhabditis Elegans Behavioral Assay

Early cancer diagnosis and treatment dramatically improves the likelihood of survival and plays a pivotal role in reducing patient mortality rates. Despite growing research focus, early characteristic clinical symptoms for most types of cancer remain unidentified; however, measurement of cancer-specific volatile organic compounds (VOCs) hold promise for diagnosing early-stage cancer. For instance, the Nematode Scent Detection Test (NSDT), developed by Hirotsu et al. (2015), reported a natural attraction of Caenorhabditis elegans nematodes to cancer-patient derived samples and repulsion from healthy control samples in a concentration-specific manner. C. elegans have well-developed olfactory capabilities that assist them in finding food (bacteria) and mates and avoiding predators. C. elegans attraction to cancer-derived samples is likely due to their attraction to a VOC(s) that is also naturally produced by their bacterial food sources. My project expands a previous literature review to identify cancer-specific VOCs likely to elicit C. elegans’ attractive response to cancer-patient derived samples and analyzes NSDT data using two VOCs of interest (Valeraldehyde and 2-Octanone). This research will aid in identifying the olfactory receptors and ligands responsible for C. elegans’ behavioral response, which could ultimately result in development of a reliable non-invasive, chemical-based early cancer detection test.