Robert Rintoul at BBCon 2023

Progress in the development of a Breath Biopsy test for the early detection of lung cancer; The LuCID and Evolution studies


00:00 Progress in the development of a breath biopsy test for the early detection of lung cancer; the LuCID and Evolution Studies.
32:00 Question and Answer session


Talk Abstract:

Analysis of volatile metabolites in breath represents an attractive potential diagnostic modality for lung cancer. However, previous studies in this area have had various limitations that have prevented them from being translated to clinical practice. The LuCID (Lung Cancer Indicator Detection) study aimed to address these limitations by conducting the largest ever breath biomarker discovery study for lung cancer, using a state-of-the-art breath analysis approach. The results of the LuCID study suggest that individual breath biomarkers of high volatility show some association with the presence of lung cancer, particularly at advanced stages. However, the combined diagnostic performance of these biomarkers does not exceed that of clinical risk prediction models. Targeted approaches amplifying the volatile biomarker signal of metabolic pathways altered in lung cancer are likely needed to develop a breath-based screening test for lung cancer.

Speaker Biography:

Robert Rintoul is Professor of Thoracic Oncology in the Department of Oncology, University of Cambridge and Honorary Consultant Respiratory Physician, Royal Papworth Hospital. He trained in respiratory medicine in London and Edinburgh receiving his doctorate from the University of Edinburgh for work investigating mechanisms underlying resistance to chemotherapy in small cell lung cancer. He was appointed consultant in respiratory medicine specialising in thoracic oncology at Royal Papworth Hospital in 2005 before moving into the University of Cambridge in 2017. Professor Rintoul is lead clinician for cancer at Royal Papworth Hospital and Director of the Papworth Trials Unit Collaboration. He is co-lead of the CRUK Cambridge Centre Thoracic Cancer Programme and facilitates thoracic oncology research across Cambridge.

Professor Rintoul’s research is focused around clinical trials, translational research and tissue banking in malignant mesothelioma and the early detection of lung cancer. He is Chief Investigator for several clinical translational studies examining biomarkers in lung cancer. In 2014 he founded Mesobank, the UK national bioresource for malignant mesothelioma ( His work is funded by the Cambridge Biomedical Research Centre, Cancer Research UK, National Institute for Health Research and Asthma and Lung UK.
He is a member of the Roy Castle Lung Cancer Clinical Expert Group and is currently Chair of the Clinical Advisory Group of the UK Lung Cancer Coalition.



The Breath Biopsy Conference 2024 is scheduled for 4th and 5th November. Click the button to express interest in the next Breath Biopsy Conference: