Breast cancer detection from sweat


Breast cancer is the most common type of cancer in women. An important task is to provide high sensitivity diagnostic tools for early detection of breast cancer, possessing high specificity to avoid false positive results and ensure a high chance of survival for the affected women. X-ray mammography is today’s first line imaging modality.


We have developed a breast carcinoma diagnostic test based on metabolomics analysis of apocrine sweat. The test was performed successfully with apocrine sweat samples from 53 apparently healthy women, 70 women with different stages of breast carcinoma and 19 women with benign lesions. 20 markers were chosen and using mathematical-statistical methods we were able to classify them as healthy or as breast carcinoma suspect. The method sensitivity was determined in 97% (3% of false negative) and a specificity of 72% (28% false positive). We also found a baseline of apocrine sweat consisting in the combination of three markers, enabling the standardization of any volume or type of apocrine sweat sample for further analysis. The test should be introduced as first level screening.


The test is non-invasive, easy to perform by women, without the need for a doctor's visit. There are no contraindications when compared to mammography (gravidity, breast feeding etc.). It can be repeated as often as women want without any burdening. The high sensitivity of our test in comparison with a conventional x-ray mammography, which is only of ~75% (for radiographic dense breast tissue, which is more common in younger women, the sensitivity can even drop below 50%), offers a new possibility in non-invasive screening of breast carcinoma. Therefore, some countries have already abandoned it. The idea is to keep screening programs, but to modify them to be non-invasive.


pilot study done; proof-of concept study in progress under supervision of CRO (200 subjects)


no publications


PCT/CZ2018/050045 (priority 29.8.2017) PCT/CZ2018/050046 (priority 29.8.2017)


University Hospital Hradec Králové Palacký University Olomouc

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