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Breath analysis offers non-invasive method to detect early lung cancer
Date:4/29/2014

in malignant lung tumors. In this study, the authors compared the findings from the breath analyses to the results from PET scans.

The investigators found that the sensitivity and specificity of breath analysis depended upon how many of the ECMs were elevated. For example, having 3 or 4 ECMs was diagnostic of lung cancer in 95% of those with this result. The majority of patients with benign pulmonary disease had either 0 or 1 ECM, while those with Stage IV cancer were most likely to have 3 or 4. The number of ECMs could be used to differentiate benign disease from both early and advanced stage lung cancer. Interestingly, 3 of the 4 elevated markers returned to normal levels after cancer resection.

When it comes to differentiating early stage lung cancer from benign pulmonary disease, breath analysis and PET scanning had similar sensitivities (82.8% and 90.3%, respectively). However, breath analysis had a much higher specificity than PET (75% vs. 38.7%, respectively) for distinguishing benign disease, which means that it was much more accurate at identifying those who did not have cancer. This would be an important feature for patients with benign disease, since having a breath analysis rather than PET scan could mean avoiding an unnecessary invasive biopsy procedure later on.


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Contact: Nicole Baritot
press@aats.org
978-299-4520
American Association for Thoracic Surgery
Source:Eurekalert

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