Lung cancer is one of the most common types of cancers all around the world and has the highest death rate. The reason behind high death rate is that it is often detected late and this leads to minimal treatment options. The risk of lung cancer increases with time and number of cigarettes smoked. A recent study has been conducted by researchers at the University of Louisville that demonstrated that a newly developed lung cancer detection test could determine which Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are most likely to be detected in lung cancer patients. The study has been published in journal PLOS journal. Currently, lung cancer is detected using CT scans among those who at high risk.
The potential for using VOC measurements to find lung cancer is catching some interest. There is lot of active research going on for early detection of this disease. The latest diagnosis of lung cancer restricts to limited treatment options and ultimately contributes to high mortality rate of the disease. Early detection of lung cancer saves lives as well as money. It also adds to mental and emotional well-being of the patient.
In the present study, scientists developed a method to record the exhaled breath of 414 individuals and 193 healthy control subjects were chosen from families of lung cancer patients. The majority of patients were active or former smokers. The team of researchers used machine learning to determine whether VOCs found in cancer patients were related to their disease using exhaled air samples gathered using this newly developed method. According to this study, it has led to the finding of a cluster of seven VOCs that could indicate the existence of lung cancer.
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