A group of researchers led by Rebecca Fitzgerald of Cambridge University are currently moving towards the test phase of the device, which can detect cancer by breathing.
Like a device used to detect alcohol in the blood, the device tracks the chemicals known as "volatile organic compounds", which are produced by cellular metabolism.
Some diseases, including cancer, can change metabolism and in turn, change the pattern of volatile organic compounds. If they are detected, they can alert doctors to the possible presence of infected tumors.
A promising panorama
Fitzgerald explains, "This is a pilot study, so first to find out whether we are looking for a series of cancers, we can achieve a typical pattern from them and compare them."
Thus, by 2021, the team of researchers has planned to analyze the breath of 1,500 people, both of which are both healthy and susceptible to esophagus, stomach, prostate, liver, kidney, bladder or pancreas cancers.
Fitzgerald said that "we do not want to re-examine patients with cancer." In that sense, the study was recruited by people who have gone to a doctor to present the symptoms of potential cancer or that, due to medical conditions, is at risk of developing.
"Lung cancer seems easy to detect by breathing, for obvious reasons, but many other unstable molecules may occur from other parts of the body, as metabolites are recycled in the body." He added.
Thus, it is expected that the experiment can help to establish the pattern of breathing, which can be used to determine whether the malignant tumors of the body are used. And even if the results are more favorable, different patterns that point to different types of cancers can be determined.