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Two breath compounds could be associated with larynx cancer
Date:4/28/2014

Researchers at the Rey Juan Carlos University and the Alcorcn Hospital (Madrid) have compared the volatile substances exhaled by eleven people with cancer of larynx, with those of another twenty healthy people. The results show that the concentrations of certain molecules, mainly ethanol and 2-butanone, are higher in individuals with carcinoma, therefore they act as potential markers of the disease.

Human breath contains thousands of volatile organic compounds (VOC) and some of them can be used as non-invasive biomarkers for various types of head and neck cancers as well as cancer of the larynx.

This was shown in the experiment carried out by scientists from the Rey Juan Carlos University (URJC) with 31 volunteers: 20 healthy subjects (half of which are smokers) and 11 with cancer of the larynx in various phases of the disease and who are being treated in the Alcorcn Hospital in Madrid.

The results, published in the journal 'Chromatographia', reveal that the air exhaled by the more seriously ill patients in a stage called T3 contains different concentrations of seven compounds compared with the levels of healthy people or even those with a less developed tumour (T1).

Specifically, in the graphics of individuals with advanced cancer, the peaks that represent ethanol (C2H6O) and 2-butanone (C4H8O) are particularly significant. These two compounds therefore become potential markers of laryngeal carcinoma.

"At the moment it is still a preliminary study and a wider sample has to be obtained," Rafael Garca, professor of Chemical Engineering at the URJC and co-author of the study told SINC, "but it is a step in the right direction, an alternative with regard to identifying biomarkers, not only for this type of cancer but for other more prevalent and serious ones such as lung cancer, where early detection is key".

As part of the experiment, the researchers asked the participants to breathe into tedlar bag
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FECYT - Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology
Source:Eurekalert  

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