Author Interviews, Biomarkers, BMJ, Cancer Research, Gastrointestinal Disease / 14.04.2015 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. (more…)
Author Interviews, Biomarkers, Infections / 03.04.2015

Wikipedia Interview with: Amalia Z. Berna CSIRO Food and Nutrition Flagship Acton ACT 2601 MedicalResearch: What is the background for this study? What are the main findings? Response: Globally an estimated 3.2 billion people in 97 countries are at risk of malaria and, in 2013, an estimated 198 million cases and 584,000 deaths were attributed to this infection. Accurate diagnosis of malaria is important to provide adequate treatment, conserve valuable drugs, and help prevent the emergence of resistant strains of the parasite. It is becoming important to be able to diagnose low level and asymptomatic cases, to support the drive towards local and/or global eradication. Detection of volatile chemicals in expired breath has been used to diagnose or monitor a small number of diseases, including Helicobacter pylori infection, diabetes and lung inflammation but, if breath analysis is to be more broadly useful, we need to identify reliable biomarkers for a wider range of diseases and to develop more robust methods for breath analysis. In collaboration with Professor James McCarthy of the QIMR Berghofer Institute and Associate Professor Kevin Saliba of the ANU, we found:
  1. Four specific thioether biomarkers in the breath of volunteers with experimentally induced blood stage Plasmodium falciparum
  2. That the levels of the volatiles strongly correlate with the levels of malaria parasitaemia.
  3. That the thioethers are not produced by in vitro cultures of falciparum.
  4. That although we do not know the metabolic origin of the thioethers, our results suggest that interplay between host and parasite metabolic pathways is involved in their production.
We think it is important to emphasise that no volunteer was infected with malaria primarily for the purpose of this study. Our research was entirely piggy-backed on pre-existing trials of malaria therapeutics. (more…)
CHEST, Lung Cancer / 21.10.2014

Peter J. Mazzone, MD, FCCP MPH Director of the Lung Cancer Program for the Respiratory Institute Cleveland Interview with: Peter J. Mazzone, MD, FCCP MPH Director of the Lung Cancer Program for the Respiratory Institute Cleveland Clinic Medical Research: What are the main findings of this study? Dr. Mazzone: ¬† There were 2 parts to this study. In the first part we looked at how the breath collection instrument and sensor were performing and made adjustments to both in order to optimize its performance. In the second part we used the improved device and sensor to see if we could accurately separate a sensor signal of our patients with lung cancer from those without lung cancer. We found good separation of lung cancer from non-cancer breath signals, and very good separation of signals of one type of lung cancer from another. We have concluded that a colorimetric sensor array based breath test is capable of separating those with lung cancer from those without. (more…)