We are always writing about new, more efficient ways of diagnosing mesothelioma. Many of these involve blood tests or biopsies to test cells or use biomarkers to detect mesothelioma cells. Researchers at Ghent University Hospital and Antwerp University Hospital are working on a much less invasive diagnostic test – breath analysis.
The idea of analysing breath is not new however the science behind using them to detect early cancer is on the up.
Breathomics is the study of exhaled air and it could soon be used to detect early stage pleural mesothelioma. Like many of the blood tests, the breath test identifies biomarkers to identify mesothelioma.
Mesothelioma is a horrific cancer and is often at a late stage of development by the time it is diagnosed. Many patients are very poorly before diagnosis and are unable to undergo an invasive biopsy to confirm the condition. A simple test using breath would be easy for any mesothelioma patient to undergo and could lead to diagnosis much earlier than current methods.
As this is a non-invasive test, aiming at early detection, it could be used for those who have a high risk of developing mesothelioma, such as people who have worked with asbestos throughout their working life. Testing these people periodically could provide a very early diagnosis, allowing them to fully explore all treatment options so they can have a high quality of life and much longer survival rate.
Lead researched, Sabrina Lagniau said, “We believe a breathomics-based biomarker approach should be further explored to improve the follow-up and management of asbestos exposed individuals.”
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