A new breath test will now help in identifying and differentiating between the types of lung cancer in humans with high accuracy, a new study has suggested. Metabolomx, a diagnostic company focused on the detection of the metabolomics signature of cancer from exhaled breath.
This seminal study, conducted at the Cleveland Clinic and led by Dr. Peter Mazzone, used Metabolomx' first-generation colorimetric sensor array, and reported accuracy exceeding 80 percent in lung cancer detection, comparable to computerized tomography (CT) scan.
Further, the study found that Metabolomx' first-generation colorimetric sensor array could identify the subtype of lung cancer (small cell versus adenocarcinoma versus squamous cell) with accuracy approaching 90 percent.
"Our research shows that breath testing may help identify patients with lung cancer, as well as provide us with information that can help with treatment decisions, such as the type of lung cancer, its stage, and prognosis," Dr Mazzone said. "The accuracy of these non-invasive tests can be further augmented when combined with existing clinical predictors, such as health status and age," he stated.
According to Paul Rhodes, PhD, Founder and CEO of Metabolomx, the results demonstrate the broad potential for use of breath analysis in the early detection of lung cancer. "These results show that the first generation of our breath test technology compares well with CT scans," Rhodes noted.
"Detection of the metabolomic signature of lung cancer in exhaled breath is non-invasive, rapid, and inexpensive, and will become a valuable adjunct to help assess an indeterminate CT, and may come to have a central role in early detection and differentiation of lung cancer, while lowering costs to the healthcare system," he added.
The study has been published in the online issue of the Journal of Thoracic Oncology (JTO), the official Journal of the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer.