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Cancer breath test project launched

Thursday January 3rd, 2019

Ambitious plans to develop a single breath test for multiple cancers were announced today.

Developers hope to include oesophageal, gastric, prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers in a single test.

The project will begin by analysing breath samples from 1,500 people, including healthy control subjects, recruited at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

In the past dogs have been trained to detect cancer but researchers say the test would be the first able to detect multiple cancers using a single sample of breath.

Cancer Research UK’s Cambridge Centre is working with a company called Owlstone Medical on the project.

Patients will breath into a sample collection device for ten minutes.

Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, who is leading the project, said: “We urgently need to develop new tools, like this breath test, which could help to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving their disease.

“Through this clinical trial we hope to find signatures in breath needed to detect cancers earlier – it’s the crucial next step in developing this technology.”

Dr David Crosby, head of early detection research at Cancer Research UK, said: “Technologies such as this breath test have the potential to revolutionise the way we detect and diagnose cancer in the future.

“Early detection research has faced an historic lack of funding and industry interest - and this work is a shining example of Cancer Research UK’s commitment to reverse that trend and drive vital progress in shifting cancer diagnosis towards earlier stages.”

Tags: Cancer | Gastroenterology | Internal Medicine | UK News

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