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A Breath Test Could Detect Early Cancer Signs

last modified Jan 06, 2019 08:20 PM
CRUK and ideaSpace City members, Owlstone Medical, have launched a new trial to discover whether it's possible to detect early stage cancer symptoms from a person's breath.

The ‘PAN Cancer Trial for Early Detection of Cancer in Breath’ will test the effectiveness of Owlstone's Breath Biopsy® technology. The breathalyser analyses molecules that could indicate the presence of cancer at an early stage, improving the prospect of cures. It is the first test of its kind to investigate multiple cancer types.

The Cancer Research UK team in Cambridge will collect breath samples from 1,500 people, some with cancer. If the technology is proven, the hope is that breath tests could be used in GP practices to decide if patients need to be referred for more tests.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, lead trial investigator, said: “We urgently need to develop new tools, like this breath test, which could help to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving their disease.

“Through this clinical trial we hope to find signatures in breath needed to detect cancers earlier – it’s the crucial next step in developing this technology. Owlstone Medical’s Breath Biopsy® technology is the first to test across multiple cancer types, potentially paving the way for a universal breath test.”

Find out more here and here.

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