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New Breathalyser To Test For Lung Cancer

Posted Aug 31 2009 10:33pm

New reports have been released of a breathalyser of the future which could allow patients to be checked for lung cancer, provided a valid concern exits.

This new device has been developed by scientists and works by an in-built sensor that can detect lung cancer cells on the breath.

The development of the technology is considered to be revolutionary in aiding early, economically viable diagnoses, resulting in potentially thousands of lives being saved.

Scientists established the lung cancer bio-markers by analysing breath samples taken from 40 patients with a diagnosis and 56 healthy people.

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The results revealed that 83 per cent of the cancer patients contained 42 ”volatile organic compounds” (VOCs) present in their breath while less than 83 per cent of the healthy controls had them.

Four of these VOC’s were used to create a nine-sensor array constructed from minuscule gold particles covered with reactive chemicals sensitive to the compounds.

The breathalyser was developed so that the sensors created an electrical signal whenever exposed to these VOC’s, which produced a distinctive trace pattern.

In trials the breathalyser successfully identified both “healthy” and “cancerous” breath created from artificial compounds.

The device was created by a group of Israeli scientists led by Dr Hossam Haick from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. They summarised their research in the Nature Nanotechnology journal today, writing, ” Our results show great promise for fast, easy and cost-effective diagnosis and screening of lung cancer.

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