Breath Test for Lung Cancer

I'm on the record predicting that before cancer is completely eliminated, it will become a condition that we view primarily as something that people live with (like diabetes) rather than something they die from (like, well, cancer). In fact I believe this transformation is well underway as treatments grow more sophisticated and survival rates continue to climb.

One of the keys to transforming cancer to a largely survivable condition is early and accurate detection. And now here's more good news on the front:
Cancer Breath Test Enters Clinical Trials

A startup says its test can distinguish between subtypes of lung cancer.

Someday soon a breath test could do more than just tell if you've been drinking. Metabolomx, a startup in Mountain View, California, recently completed a clinical trial that shows that its breath test can spot lung cancer with 83 percent accuracy and can also distinguish between several different types of the disease, something that usually requires a biopsy. The accuracy of the test matches what's possible with low-dose computerized tomography imaging of the lungs.
When we can make accurate diagnoses from breath tests that would have previously required blood tests, or even biopsies, we are definitely on the right track. If this test pans out it will almost certainly increase the rate at which lung cancer is detected, and how early this occurs. Getting treatment sooner significantly ups the chances of survival.

This test will save lives.


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