Scientists in Israel are working on a breathalyzer that can detect lung cancer as easily as "your garden variety intoxication detector," pictured above.
Similar tests are in the works but require a pretreatment of the breath, which adds time, cost and complexity to a procedure. The Israeli breathalyzer's bypassing of such pretreatments is being attributed to advancements in nanotechnology.
The team conducted a study over 56 healthy volunteers. 40 who were known to have lung cancer were tested by the breathalyzer without any pretreatment, using a sensor made up of nine gold nanoparticle chemiresistors.The results showed 33 distinct biomarkers set apart the people with lung cancer from their peers with healthy lungs.
The only question is how early on the device is able to detect traces of cancer. As the subjects tested were all in advanced stages, cancer treatment success relies heavily on early warnings.
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