Detection Of Lung Cancer From Exhaled Breath

Development Of New Tool

The researchers from the University of Oklahoma, under the guidance of Dr. Patrick McCann have developed a new sensor which detects lung cancer from the exhaled air of a person. The research was based on the cancer related news that the dogs were able to identify cancer patients by sniffing. This finding was reported in July 2007.  The team has used mid- infra red rays to detect and measure the cancer related molecules or bio- markers like ethane, acetaldehyde and formaldehyde. The research team wants to improve the laser performance using nanotechnology.

Analysis Of Human Breath

 The exhaled air from a person is composed of various organic compounds. The common compounds include hydrocarbons, methanol, acetone etc. the researchers from the University of Oklahoma used a range of compound and their combinations as biomarkers as a single component was not capable of acting as marker.  In healthy human beings the concentration of the biomarkers was 1- 20 ppb but, in lung cancer patients the concentration was 10-100 fold more than the healthy people.  The breath samples were collected by using breath collecting device and a detailed analysis was carried out using gas chromatography and mass spectrometry. The results were analyzed to identify the healthy and cancerous pattern. More information regarding this research is available in websites providing cancer related news.

 Possible Changes

The development of the tool for the medical diagnostic use can make great changes in research. Though there are technologies to support the development of the new tool for early identification of cancer, it will take 5- 10 years to complete the clinical test of the tool. Using nanotechnology will help to have battery powered breath sensors for cancer. In order to make the tool a reality there is the need for more research and financial infrastructure. McCann is confident that Oklahoma will become the center of excellence in this field.

 The Importance Of The Tool

It is believed that this tool will help millions of people. The problem with lung cancer is that it is not detectable in the early stages. With this new tool it will be easy to identify cancer at an early stage. This will improve the survival chances of the patient considerably. The present diagnostic tests are not sufficient to detect cancer at early stage.  According to cancer related news, the present tests expose the patients to harmful radioactive radiations. The early detection can open up new, effective treatments for lung cancer.

Detection Of Lung Cancer From Exhaled Breath
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