A Breathalyzer Test For Cancer

by ProfKeith

Remember my jokey piece: Dr. Fido will see you now!1 I wrote about the fact that dogs could be trained to sniff out cancers with a high degree of accuracy (better than blood tests and x-rays).

Of course, if dogs can smell tumors, that must mean there are distinct chemicals being produced. So—only a matter of time before sensitive detectors were made, that could also pick up the presence of these chemical markers.Well, again… it’s come true!

Now “Dr. Fido” has been surpassed by the “Nanose” (nano nose, get it?) It was developed by a team of Israeli, American, and British cancer researchers and appears to have a high accuracy rate in detecting lung cancer, just by “sniff”. It can even identify what stage the cancer has progressed to.

The NaNose was able to detect lung cancer pretty well, even when the lung nodule was tiny and hard to sample. It was even able to discriminate between subtypes of cancer, which was unexpected.

Inventor and boffin Prof. Hossam Haick has been working on what he calls “Na-Nose” since 2007, and the device has been proven in numerous international clinical trials to differentiate between different types and classifications of cancer with up to 95 percent accuracy.

The Bad CancerNa-Nose’s detection device can be used at three different stages. The first, and most critical, is advanced screening. The earlier cancer is detected, the better the survival rate. The second stage is detailed diagnosis and monitoring during the cancer treatment: a simple breath analysis could mean less radiation or fewer biopsies.

And finally, the Na-Nose can be used following successful treatment, to stay on top of any signs that the cancer may be recurring.

Lung cancer is the world’s number one killer cancer in the world today. It does not just affect smokers. We all breathe enough pollution for it to be said we are all at significant risk from lung cancer.

For example, in the USA, lung cancer causes more deaths than the next three most common cancers combined (colon, breast, and pancreatic). It accounts for a third of all cancer-related deaths. Hungary, Serbia and North Korea lead the world in incidence.2

Unfortunately, diagnostic tests for lung cancer currently available, e.g. bronchoscope biopsy, pulmonary puncture and computer tomography (CT) are unsatisfactory, since they often identify tumors at an intolerably late stage of the disease, occasionally miss tumors and sometimes provide high rates of false positives, a fact that leads to over-utilization of the medical system and to unnecessary medical procedures.

Indeed, these methods are not suited for widespread screening as they are not efficient in terms of time and costs and more importantly are unpleasant for the patient and not free of complications.3

The reason for the striking mortality rate is simple: the poor detection rate. It sneaks up on the victim quietly, working mischief undetected, until it has become much advanced and even spread remotely (metastasis).

It is often only diagnosed so late, the victim is lucky to last a few weeks. It’s a nasty cancer; some forms of lung cancer are a tough call, even for good holistic doctors (like the oat-cell type, which today is often called small cell).

However, the new test may alter this bleak picture rapidly.

The breathalyzer test, embedded with a “NaNose” nanotech chip to literally “sniff out” cancer tumors, was 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.

The study, presented at a recent American Society of Clinical Oncology conference in Chicago, the researchers presented data on 358 patients who were either diagnosed with or at risk for lung cancer. The participants enrolled at UC Denver, Tel Aviv University, University of Liverpool, UK, and a Jacksonville, Florida, radiation center.

The Smell Of Cancer

Lung cancer tumors produce chemicals called volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which easily evaporate into the air and produce a discernible scent profile. Prof. Haick harnessed nanotechnology to develop the highly sensitive NaNose microchip, which detects the unique “signature” of VOCs in exhaled breath. In four out of five cases, the device differentiated between benign and malignant lung lesions and even different cancer subtypes.

Obviously, the bigger the tumor, the more VOCs in the exhaled breath, so detecting the stage of advancement is a no-brainer. Nevertheless, this is a surprising and novel finding.

The device and subsequent analysis can accurately sort 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.

That’s very useful, meaning that if the result is positive, it’s a clear reason to go get and x-ray and get checked out; maybe a biopsy.

But it’s not accurate enough to take a negative at face value. Provided you have no other reason to suspect you are ill, you could leave it till the next breath test. But if there are reasons to be suspicious, you would not rely solely on such a test.

Doctors, naturally, will reject it in the main, because it’s so cheap for screening. They will want the income from x-rays, CAT-scans and biopsy, even with a negative “breathalyzer! (OK, I’m just being cynical—but with good cause).

Don’t rush to your doctor because the NaNose isn’t on the market yet.

But as I keep saying: cancer research is getting better every year, with solid attempts to do things right, instead of just blundering in with chemo, radiation and blighting surgery… and a fat invoice.

The Boston-based company Alpha Szenszor has licensed the technology and hopes to introduce it to the market within the next few years. Meanwhile, a new, smaller version of the device has since been developed that can plug into a computer’s USB port.

The study was supported by the European Union LCAOS grant, an EU-funded collaborative whose aim is to enable the earliest possible detection of lung cancer, and the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). LCAOS stands for: The Lung Cancer Artificial Olfactory System.

Time to Wake Up Now!

Cancer is not necessarily a death sentence but it is a wake up call, telling you that you need to act.

I am writing this to you because, sooner or later, you are going to be facing cancer.

The odds are terrible: 50/50 in rough terms, that the “Big C” will come into your home. That’s why I tell everybody we are all battling cancer. It’s a pretty shocking message but then, it’s a pretty shocking knee-trembling diagnosis when it comes.

To help you grasp this disease process better and learn all the many options before trouble strikes, I have compiled a book of cancer cures that work and those which don’t. You need to read it NOW.

 

breathalyzer test to detect cancer tumors

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