We previously had some good chat about the lack of an adequate universal lung cancer scanning method. Here are a couple of the many ingenious innovations that researchers are currently pursuing.
US scientists have already devised a prototype colour test which shows up unique chemical changes in the breath of people with lung cancer. The hues of a series of 36 dots can detect lung cancer accurately in three out of four people with the disease. The concept of a "gas fingerprint" for lung cancer is not new, but this kit is. The sensor, which is slightly bigger than a quarter dollar or a two pound coin, is inexpensive and easy to use. It could revolutionise the way cancer is detected.
Identifying the "smell" of different types of lung bacteria could well lead to a simple breath test. Breath analysis is an important emerging field and is likely to take off across the board; it could reduce lung infections and diagnosis times from weeks to minutes. Researchers are now collaborating in the sampling of patients, in order to demonstrate the strengths, as well as limitations of breath analysis more comprehensively.