Breath tests could help diagnose lung cancer

Last Updated: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 13:22

Washington: A new research has revealed that collecting samples of exhaled breath from people at a high risk of lung cancer could help diagnose the disease.

According to researchers, the new technique could be a cheap and non-invasive method of quickly assessing the symptoms of the disease.

Previous research has shown that animals are capable of detecting diseases based on breath tests. Scientists have been trying to replicate this in ``electronic nose`` technology, which works by detecting different profiles of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in breath samples. This is the most extensive study using the electronic nose to show that the technique could be an accurate method for lung cancer screening.

Researchers from the University of Latvia have not yet clearly identified which VOCs are linked to different diseases, but this new study suggests it is possible for an electronic nose to differentiate lung cancer from different lung conditions and healthy people.

Lead author, Maris Bukovskis said that the research has shown that it is possible to use breath tests to correctly identify lung cancer with a high sensitivity rate.

“The major problem with electronic nose technology is that it is individual, and each piece of equipment must be trained to distinguish between odours. This causes a problem of standardising the practice between different centres. The next step will be to test the practice between different centres to help us think about how we can ensure consistency between all the results,” Bukovskis said.

The study is to be presented at the European Respiratory Society (ERS) Annual Congress in Barcelona.

ANI



First Published: Tuesday, September 10, 2013 - 13:22

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