Nanotechnology May Lead To Breath Test For Gastric Cancer Interview with:
Professor Hossam Haick Ph.D
Department of Chemical Engineering and Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute
Haifa, Israel

Medical Research: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings?

Dr. Haick: Our study is based on the hypothesis that timely detection of premalignant lesions (PMLs) may provide a tool to decrease either cancer mortality or incidence, thought, currently, there is no perfect non-invasive tool to screen for gastric cancer (GC) and the related premalignant lesions. Using 1002 samples collected from 501 volunteers, we show for the first time that premalignant lesions (PMLs) relevant to (gastric) cancer result in detectable differences in Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) signatures that can be detected and classified non-invasively through exhaled breath. We show additionally that these premalignant lesions can be well-discriminated from various stages of gastric cancer as well as other background stomach diseases.

Medical Research: What should clinicians and patients take away from your report?

Dr. Haick: Our results demonstrate the feasibility of the sensor array for distinguishing between malignant and non-malignant conditions as well as patients with different stages of precancerous gastric lesions from gastric cancer by a breath test. Our future vision suggests the breath test as a follow-up tool for surveillance of high risk patients. Once a patient is diagnosed with risk-lesions in the stomach by a sensor technology, and this is confirmed by conventional endoscopy, the breath test could be used for monitoring, to identify those progressing to cancer or more advanced lesions. Similarly, the test could be used for timely identification of gastric cancer recurrence following initially successful therapy. The attractiveness of this test lies in its non-invasiveness, ease of use (therefore high compliance would be expected), rapid predictiveness, insensitivity to confounding factors and potentially low cost.

Medical Research: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this study?

Dr. Haick: The results of the present study demonstrates the capacity of the nanoarray technology to identify the subgroup of patients at high risk for cancer development. Although high sensitivity is the critical indicator for identifying lesions during screening, higher test specificity would also be desirable, and additional work will be undertaken to improve the overall accuracy further.


Detection of precancerous gastric lesions and gastric cancer through exhaled breath, Gut, DOI: 10.1136/gutjnl-2014-308536

[wysija_form id=”1″] Interview with: Professor Hossam Haick Ph.D (2015). Nanotechnology May Lead To Breath Test For Gastric Cancer 

Last Updated on April 14, 2015 by Marie Benz MD FAAD