Pathologists may do fewer lung biopsies should non-invasive breath testing technology make it into clinical practice
Here’s a medical laboratory test for diagnosing cancer that has the potential to score two runs with one swing of the bat. First, researchers have completed the first clinical trial of a non-invasive cancer test that utilizes a breath specimen.
Second, the subject of this clinical trial was lung cancer—a type of cancer that would benefit from a pathology test that can detect the disease much earlier. This would increase the survival rates for lung cancer, which currently has a five-year mortality rate of 90%.
As many pathologists and clinical laboratory managers know, it is possible to use breath specimens to diagnose a variety of diseases and health conditions. For almost 20 years, breath samples have been used to test for Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria which causes ulcers in the stomach.