Some interesting and promising research is coming out of Cleveland Clinic:
The electronic nose, a device long used for safety and quality control in the food, wine and perfume industries, also can be used to detect early evidence of lung cancer, according to research conducted at The Cleveland Clinic.
Known as the Cyranose, the electronic nose is a hand-sized device that uses biosensor technology to produce a “smellprint” of the volatile organic compounds that comprise human breath and other scents.
Led by Serpil Erzurum, M.D., chairman of the Department of Pathobiology at the Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute, researchers speculated the electronic nose could be used to detect and distinguish between lung diseases, particularly lung cancer. Testing their theory, they found the exhaled breath of lung cancer patients had specific characteristics that, in fact, could be detected with the device. Their findings will be published in the American Journal of Respiratory Medicine later this spring.
“Our work indicates that the electronic nose can be used as a non-invasive tool for the early diagnosis of lung cancer and to monitor the effectiveness of treatment on lung cancer patients,” Dr. Erzurum said. “Use of the electronic nose could enable physicians to determine the appropriate course for a lung cancer patient’s treatment at an earlier stage, rather than after the cancer has spread to other parts of the body and is more difficult to treat. The small, portable nature of the electronic nose also makes it easy to use in physician offices and outpatient settings.”
In their study, Cleveland Clinic researchers examined the exhaled breath of 14 lung cancer patients and 45 healthy patients. The electronic nose was programmed to detect certain characteristics in breath and used algorithms to create patterns viewable on a computer screen. Researchers found the pattern characterizing the breath of lung cancer patients was distinctly different from that of healthy patients and of people with other lung diseases.