Monday, 17 June, 2019

Cancer clinical trial to use 'Breath Biopsy' device

Breath test for cancer being trialled in UK Researchers trial breath test which could detect cancer in early stages
Samantha Long | 06 January, 2019, 12:00

But in the very best case scenario, there will be multiple signatures that can actually reveal exactly what type of cancer it is.

The trial hopes to pick up signals from different cancers that could differentiate between them.

Another clinical trial of cancer breath tests in the United Kingdom was past year reported to have been successful.

Study chief Prof Rebecca Fitzgerald said: "We urgently need new tools like this breath test that could help diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving".

The Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre is operating the trial, which hopes to develop the test which would potentially provide a non-invasive manner to ascertain if someone has cancer at an early stage.

Tests of this sort try to find molecules called volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, in breath samples. Others will be healthy controls.

Some of these 1,500 will have been referred to the hospital by their local doctor because they have reported symptoms that could be read as early signs of cancer.

The clinical trial hopes to begin to identify suspected oesophageal and stomach cancers, and then looks to expand to prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers.

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The Breath Biopsy device is created to detect cancer hallmarks in molecules exhaled by patients. The idea is to compare the breath of those who are later diagnosed with cancer to those that are not to see if there are special signatures that offer any tell-tale clues.

By looking across cancer types, this trial will help unpick if cancer signals are similar or different, and how early it's possible to pick these signals up. The team are working in collaboration with Owlstone Medical to test the Breath Biopsy technology.

"Providing a whole-body snapshot in a non-invasive way could reduce harm by sparing patients invasive tests they don't need".

Nearly half of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in England, according to government figures, and this is one of the main reasons why only 12% of oesophageal cancer patients survive as long as 10 years, for example.

Trial participant Rebecca Coldrick, 54, from Cambridge, was diagnosed in her early 30s with Barrett's oesophagus, a condition linked to acid reflux that can lead to oesophageal cancer. Out of 100 people with Barrett's esophagus in the United Kingdom, up to 13 could go on to develop esophageal adenocarcinoma.

In short, there is a long way to go and much more research needed on more people before a breath test will be appearing in any GP surgeries. "Every two years I have an endoscopy to monitor my condition". Rebecca Coldrick made a decision to take part in the PAN Cancer trial for Early Detection of Cancer in Breath. It's the crucial next step.

"She was inspirational and I know she would be happy to know that this trial is happening at Addenbrooke's". Initially, I thought I might feel a bit claustrophobic wearing the mask, but I didn't at all.

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