A simple breath
test might reveal if a person has early-stage
lung cancer, according to a new study.
Researchers tested the exhaled breath of people with suspicious lung lesions
that were detected on CT
scans. The breath was tested for levels of four cancer-specific substances,
scan benefits high-risk smokers
The breath samples were analysed using a special device developed at the
University of Louisville.
Having elevated levels of three of the four carbonyls was predictive of lung
cancer in 95% of patients, while having normal levels of these substances was
predictive of a noncancerous growth in 80% of patients, the researchers found.
Elevated carbonyl levels returned to normal after lung cancer patients had
surgery to remove the cancer, according to the study, which was to be presented
at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons annual meeting in Orlando, Florida.
"Instead of sending patients for invasive biopsy procedures when a
suspicious lung mass is identified, our study suggests that exhaled breath
could identify which patients" may be referred for immediate surgery,
study author Dr Michael Bousamra, of the University of Louisville, said in a
society news release.
This approach offers something new, he said, including "the simplicity
of sample collection and ease for the patient."
The data and conclusions of research presented at medical meetings should be
viewed as preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
test may detect cancers
test may spot lung cancer