Breath test for mesothelioma may be a future diagnostic tool

13 Jun 2017 by under Research/Treatment

upper body 944557 960 720 100x100 Breath test for mesothelioma may be a future diagnostic toolBreathalyzers are a staple for testing the sobriety of swerving drivers on the road, and now researchers in Belgium are trying to make a similar breath test a staple in treatment.

According to Surviving Mesothelioma, a team of researchers from Ghent and Antwerp Universities has set out to test whether compounds in exhaled breath may prove an effective alternative to blood and serum for the diagnosis of pleural mesothelioma. Breathomics is “a technique for analyzing volatile organic compounds in the breath that are produced by biochemical processes,” according to the news source.

A wide array of biomarkers are often used as a tool for diagnosing mesothelioma, which is traditionally difficult to diagnose due to its long latency period, but they are not reliable enough to use on their own to confirm a mesothelioma diagnosis. Mesothelin is currently the most notable mesothelioma biomarker, but the Belgian researchers are hoping to develop a breathing test that can stand on its own as a tool to diagnose mesothelioma in its early stages, when treatment is most likely to be effective.

“This method seems very promising in the early detection of diverse malignancies, because exhaled breath contains valuable information on cell and tissue metabolism,”  a report on the treatment’s development stated. “We believe a breathomics-based biomarkers approach should be further explored to improve the follow-up and management of asbestos exposed individuals. Rigorous studies on large patient cohorts and appropriate controls will determine the clinical validity and utility of breathomics in the diagnosis of mesothelioma.”

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