Potential breath test for identifying lung cancer - In Depth
Description: A simple breath test might one day reduce or eliminate the need for computed tomography (CT) and invasive testing to identify lung cancer among high risk individuals, according to research published in the October issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology.
You can minimize your risk of lung cancer by:
• Not smoking
• Staying away from secondhand smoke
• Avoiding areas with high air pollution
Researchers from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology took samples of the exhaled breath of 72 patients who had undergone a CT screening test that revealed they had nodules in their lungs. The investigators used techniques that they had perfected to identify the presence of various volatile organic compounds in the breath samples.
Invasive testing, including taking samples of the nodules and examining them under a microscope, revealed that 53 of the patients had lung nodules that were cancerous and 19 had nodules that were benign, or noncancerous. The breath test was also able to differentiate the patients with cancer from those without. The breath test was also able to distinguish between different types of lung cancer and between early and late stage cancer with an accuracy level that approached 90%.
While today's research study is small, it does offer hope that individuals at high risk for lung cancer may one day be followed more quickly and easily using breath tests rather than expensive and time-consuming scans and invasive examinations.
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Posted on : 09/21/12
Added : 5 years ago