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Scientists hope to develop breath test for lung cancer diagnosis

By Dental Tribune International
October 30, 2013

CHICAGO, USA: Researchers from the U.S. have discovered that lung cancer could be detected by testing patients' exhaled breath for the presence of a unique chemical signature related to the tumor-growing process. Based on the results of a preliminary study, they are currently developing a breath-based test.

The study was conducted at the Cleveland Clinic, a nonprofit academic medical center in Cleveland. It included 82 participants diagnosed with lung cancer who had not yet received treatment and 155 controls, who were at risk of developing lung cancer or who had benign lung nodules.

The participants were asked to breathe normally while their breath was exposed to a colorimetric sensor array, a high-dimensional chemical sensor, which changes color when exposed to various chemicals. The array changed color when biomarkers for lung cancer were present in the exhaled breath of a patient, the researchers explained.

The colorimetric sensor array continually monitored the chemicals exhaled, resulting in sensor changes that accurately distinguished the breath of people with lung cancer from that of the controls.

The findings were presented at CHEST 2013, the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians, in Chicago.

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