Groundbreaking Lung Cancer Test Detects Disease in Early Stage


Experimental device offers non-invasive method to diagnose disease.

Experimental device offers non-invasive method to diagnose disease.

Clinical trials are set to being soon on a revolutionary non-invasive breath test that is able to detect lung cancer in its early stages.

The UK-based Owlstone Nanotech Ltd who designed the LuCID (Lung Cancer Indicator Detection) device conducted a health economic analysis that indicated detection of early-stage lung cancer could increase from the current 14.5% to 25% by 2020 with the device, which could save an estimated 10,000 lives.

The LuCID device measures volatile organic compounds at low concentrations in a patient's breath, which provides a less expensive alternative to current detection tests.

The planned clinical trial will test Owlstone's GC-FAIMS (Gas Chromatography -- Field Asymmetric Ion Mobility Spectrometry) sensor in a rapid access lung cancer clinic later this year, which could lead to the technology being more widely utilized in the hospital setting.

"If you could change only one thing in the fight against cancer, it would be to detect the disease earlier where existing treatments are already proven to save lives,” Owlstone co-founder Billy Boyle said in a press release. “FAIMS technology has the potential to bring a quick and easy-to-use breath test to a GP's office. Our team will not rest until we help stop the daily devastation that cancer brings to patients and their families."

The results of the study are expected in early 2016.

"Lung cancer has one of the lowest 5-year survival rates of all cancers, however early diagnosis can greatly improve a patient's prognosis. Current diagnostic procedures such as a chest X-ray, CT scan and bronchoscopy are costly and not without risks so the benefits of a non-invasive, cheaper alternative are clear,” study lead Salman Siddiqui, MD, said in a press release. "This project will seek to identify and evaluate biomarkers in order to improve the accuracy and reliability of breath diagnostic methods. We will also be aiming to establish FAIMS as a faster, less expensive and more portable alternative to gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS) for breath diagnosis applications."

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