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A Non-Invasive Breath Test for Lung Cancer

Wed, 04/24/2013 - 9:18am
Dr. John Cormier, Picomole

Picomole has announced that it has developed a diagnostic test to detect lung cancer that has a preliminary accuracy of 98.5%. This best-in-class result is better than any other technique currently in use for the detection of lung cancer, according to the company.

The Picomole breath test for lung cancer is based on the quantitative analysis of a small set of trace chemicals found in exhaled breath samples. The breath samples were analyzed using LISA™ (Laser Infrared Sample Analysis), a new analytical method recently patented by Picomole scientists. The pilot study of 40 clinical samples included healthy controls as well as patients diagnosed with other pulmonary diseases. The results indicated the Picomole breath test had a sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of 97% in the detection of lung cancer.

"The results of the pilot study are very promising. From a clinical point of view, the breath test is a fast and non-invasive method to detect disease-specific metabolomic abnormalities," says Picomole founder Dr. John Cormier, PhD, who will present the results of the pilot study at an upcoming conference. "The chemicals in the Picomole breath test include novel biomarkers that were not previously identified in any lung cancer study, demonstrating the power of our infrared technology."

"A rapid and non-invasive test for the early detection of lung cancer such as the breath test being developed by Picomole could have a tremendous effect on decreasing the morbidity and mortality associated with lung cancer," says Dr. Ali Mahtabifard, MD, an expert in minimally invasive surgery for lung cancer at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. "The clinical significance of such a test cannot be overstated."

"Most lung cancers do not cause any symptoms until they have spread too far to be cured. Current technologies used in the detection of lung cancer are inadequate for mass screening applications. As a result, lung cancers exact a staggering toll, killing roughly 1.4 million people each year worldwide," says Michael Tripp, Picomole Vice-President of Corporate Development. "In the foreseeable future, a Picomole breath test could become an important tool in the fight against lung cancer, one that is safe, low-cost, and does not expose patients to radiation."

Picomole is currently implementing several targeted improvements to its methodology, and an expanded clinical study will be announced soon.

For more information visit www.picomole.com.

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