Washington: Researchers have developed a breathalyzer test that could help detect cancer.
The device developed by Prof. Nir Peled of Tel Aviv University's Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Prof. Hossam Haick (inventor) of the Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, and Prof. Fred Hirsch of the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, is embedded with a "NaNose" nanotech chip to literally "sniff out" cancer tumors.
The study, presented at a recent American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, was conducted on 358 patients who were either diagnosed with or at risk for lung cancer. r Peled said lung cancer is a devastating disease, responsible for almost 2,000 deaths in Israel annually - a third of all cancer-related deaths.
He said " Our new device combines several novel technologies with a new concept - using exhaled breath as a medium of diagnosing cancer."
Dr Peled said their NaNose was able to detect lung cancer with 90 percent accuracy even when the lung nodule was tiny and hard to sample. It was even able to discriminate between subtypes of cancer, which was unexpected.
"Cancer cells not only have a different and unique smell or signature, you can even discriminate between subtypes and advancement of the disease," said Dr. Peled. "The bigger the tumor, the more robust the signature."
The device and subsequent analysis accurately sorted healthy people from people with early-stage lung cancer 85 percent of the time, and healthy people from those with advanced lung cancer 82 percent of the time. The test also accurately distinguished between early and advanced lung cancer 79 percent of the time.
The Boston-based company Alpha Szenszor has licensed the technology and hopes to introduce it to the market within the next few years.