Breath test may detect signs of lung cancer, study finds

January 28, 2014
Breath test may detect signs of lung cancer: study
Examining breath samples from patients with suspicious growths might help determine who needs surgery.

(HealthDay)—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 -specific substances, called "carbonyls."

The breath samples were analyzed using a special device developed at the University of Louisville.

Having elevated levels of three of the four carbonyls was predictive of in 95 percent of patients, while having normal levels of these substances was predictive of a noncancerous growth in 80 percent of patients, the researchers found.

Elevated carbonyl levels returned to normal after had surgery to remove the cancer, according to the study, which was to be presented Tuesday at the Society of Thoracic Surgeons annual meeting in Orlando, Fla.

"Instead of sending patients for invasive biopsy procedures when a suspicious lung mass is identified, our study suggests that 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.

Explore further: Sniffer dogs can be used to detect lung cancer

More information: The American Lung Association has more about lung cancer diagnosis.

Related Stories

Trial seeks to sniff out lung cancer

June 19, 2012

Cancer smells different. Past research has shown that dogs can detect lung cancer in a person’s breath with great accuracy. But dogs are  tricky to use as a diagnostic tool; what does it mean when a dog barks once ...

Breath test could possibly diagnose colorectal cancer

December 5, 2012

A new study published in BJS has demonstrated for the first time that a simple breath analysis could be used for colorectal cancer screening. The study is part of the "Improving Outcomes in Gastrointestinal Cancer" supplement.

Exhaled breath biomarker may detect lung cancer

October 28, 2013

Researchers at Cleveland Clinic recently discovered that lung cancer may be detected in patients by testing their exhaled breath. Preliminary studies suggest that an accurate exhaled breath biomarker could be developed for ...

Recommended for you

Researchers thwart cancer cells by triggering 'virus alert'

August 27, 2015

Working with human cancer cell lines and mice, researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and elsewhere have found a way to trigger a type of immune system "virus alert" that may one day boost cancer patients' ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.