In the UK, Pathologists Are Watching Phase II of a Clinical Trial for a Breathalyzer System That Uses Only a Breath Specimen to Diagnose Lung Cancer
If the clinical study validates this patient-friendly, non-invasive approach to diagnosing lung cancer, it could eventually mean fewer referrals of tissue biopsies to medical laboratories
For almost a decade, pathologists have seen a regular stream of news stories about technologies that utilize a sample of human breath to diagnose a disease or health condition. Now comes news that just such a diagnostic test for lung cancer is beginning clinical trials in the United Kingdom.
The clinical trials will evaluate breathalyzer technology developed by Engineer Billy Boyle, M.S., Co-founder and President of Operations at Cambridge-based Owlstone Ltd.. The clinical trials of this new breathalyzer technology to detect lung cancer are taking place at two National Health Service (NHS) hospitals: University Hospitals of Leicester and Cambridge’s Papworth Hospital in the United Kingdom.
The reason why so much research is happening in this field will be familiar to clinical laboratory managers and pathologists. Use of volatile organic compound (VOC) biomarkers in breath to diagnose disease is an ideal concept because it is convenient, non-invasive, and well tolerated by patients. However, until the start of this clinical study, researchers have explored the potential of this diagnostic approach for some time, but with limited success. (more…)