The researchers have developed a novel device to distinguish between those who and will not respond to immunotherapy. They have reported in the Annals of Oncology that eNose was better at identifying patients that are likely to benefit from immunotherapy. The procedure is non-invasive and takes a few minutes to offer the result, unlike standard processes that require biopsy and take weeks. The researchers have developed a small device that contains sensors capable of detecting volatile organic compounds found in the breath of patients with non small-cell lung cancer. The device is called as eNose and is meant to indicate whether the patient will respond to anti-PD1 immunotherapy or not.
The researchers have performed the clinical trial involving 143 patients with advanced NSCLC at the Netherlands Cancer Institute. eNose was used to record breath profile of patients two weeks before immunotherapy and three months later, they used standard assessment process to determine whether patients responded to therapy or not. They then compared the results to eNose’s predictions. “We can differentiate between responders and non-responders in patients with non-small cell lung cancer with an accuracy of 85%,” said study coauthor Dr. Mirte Muller, a researcher at the Netherlands Cancer Institute in Amsterdam.
The new results offered by the research are intriguing and at the same time, are preliminary. There “is a great enthusiasm about the idea of predictive biomarkers, you would want to see larger datasets studied in a prospective fashion before looking at this as a diagnostic tool,” Garon said. “It would also be helpful to have a mechanistic explanation of why this would be predictive of immunotherapy outcomes,” added Garon, who was not involved with the new research.
The research is still a pretty early stage and further research in this field could help to find solution to lung cancer treatment.
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