Trials of stomach cancer breath test are successful

07 March 2013

A new way to diagnose stomach cancer is on the horizon, after experts successfully trialled a form of breath test that has proven accurate in the vast majority of cases.

In a study by experts from Israel and China, published in the British Journal of Cancer, scientists describe how the test uses sensors, which detect the chemical profile of cancer in air exhaled by patients.

In total, 130 people with a variety of stomach complaints were involved in the study and the method was found to be accurate in 90 per cent of cases; it could now lead to GPs carrying out breath tests rather than the alternative means of diagnosing patients through endoscopy.

According to Professor Hossam Haick, lead researcher from the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, the breath test is a promising future alternative to endoscopies, which are not only costly and time-consuming, but unpleasant for the patient.

"If found to be accurate enough, the nanomaterial breath test presents a new possibility for screening a population for stomach cancer, which would hopefully lead to earlier diagnosis of the disease," he explained

Posted by Jeanette Royston

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