Giuseppe Ferrandino at the Breath Biopsy Conference 2021

Induced Volatomics and EVOC Probes session - Chronic liver disease detection using Exogenous Volatile Organic Compound (EVOC) Probe approaches (25min)


The Breath Biopsy Conference 2022 is scheduled for 1st-3rd November. Click the button to express interest in the next Breath Biopsy Conference:

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Talk Abstract:

The last three decades have seen a ~30% death toll rise caused by liver cirrhosis, and a ~100% increase in the prevalence of decompensated cirrhosis, with more than 50% of cases diagnosed at advanced stages. These numbers express the pressing need of less invasive diagnostic tests effective at earlier stages.

Limonene, a generally recognized as safe (GRAS) compound used as a flavouring agent, was found elevated in breath of cirrhosis patients, and correlated with blood metrics of liver function, thus representing a candidate biomarker for a non-invasive breath test. Yet, the inability to control limonene intake in the general population complicates the definition of on-breath threshold values for the identification of subjects with liver dysfunction. To overcome this limitation, we established the exogenous volatile organic compound (EVOC) probe approach, where random dietary contribution is reduced by overnight fasting followed by standardized oral limonene exposure.

We found that the range of breath limonene in fasted healthy subjects was similar to that of the ambient background. Hence, administration of limonene produced a spike on breath after 30 minutes, followed by a reduction after 60 minutes. A similar profile was observed also for other GRAS compounds. These data suggest that the EVOC approach could be used to detect liver dysfunction, which is expresses as delayed onbreath EVOC reduction after administration, due to impaired hepatic clearance.

We aim to test the EVOC approach in patients with cirrhosis and earlier stages liver diseases, to identify time point and EVOC dose that provide the best discriminatory performance from healthy controls.

Speaker Biography:
Giuseppe’s keen interest in the study of NAFLD arose during his post-doctoral experience at Yale School of Medicine in the USA, where he contributed to discovering the link between hypothyroidism and NAFLD. He provided significant support to several other research projects ranging from ion transport to the characterization of a new drug for thyroid cancer treatment.

Giuseppe then moved to Dresden, Germany, where he joined the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics as a post-doctoral scientist. His research there focused on the identification of a signalling pathway that promotes lipid accumulation in the liver. This pathway may underlie the pathogenesis of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a metabolic disorder aecting 25% of the European population.

Despite advanced new technologies, liver biopsy remains the gold standard to diagnose NAFLD and other liver conditions. At Owlstone Medical, Giuseppe contributes to replacing this invasive diagnostic procedure with a simple Breath Biopsy, aiming to promote early diagnosis, when most liver diseases are easily defeated.

On a personal note, Giuseppe enjoys his favorite hobby, cooking, with an able company. He had the opportunity to train at a professional level in his homeland, Ischia, a beautiful island immersed in the blue of the Gulf of Naples in Italy. A place where Giuseppe loves to admire colorful sunsets by the sea.

The Breath Biopsy Conference 2022 is scheduled for 1st-3rd November. Click the button to express interest in the next Breath Biopsy Conference:

Express Interest