Non-invasive biomarker discovery with Breath Biopsy® could help to enable early detection of cancer by measuring volatile organic compounds in patients' breath
Globally around 18 million people are diagnosed with cancer and 9.5 million people die due to cancer-related causes every year.1 It is estimated that the number of new cancer cases per year will rise to 29.5 million and the number of cancer-related deaths to 16.4 million by 2040.1
Early diagnosis is key to improving cancer survival. Taking bowel cancer as an example, diagnosis at stage 4 leads to a 5 year survival of around 44%. However, early detection at stage 1 dramatically increases survival to around 98%.2 Early detection of cancer could be possible by identifying breath biomarkers related to the metabolic changes involved in cancer development and the immune response to cancer.
Human breath contains over 1,000 different volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which can originate from endogenous metabolism or exogenous sources such as diet, the environment or the microbiome. Collecting and analyzing these compounds can be a rich source of information relevant to health and disease. By developing Breath Biopsy, Owlstone Medical have become the world-leaders in robust and reliable, non-invasive breath collection for biomarker discovery research.
1. Cancer.gov, Cancer Statistics (visited March 2021), https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics
2. Office for National Statistics, Cancer survival by stage at diagnosis for England (visited March 2021), https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/
Many exhaled VOCs are the products of metabolism and so reflect biochemical activities within the body; biomarkers originating from all parts of the body can be captured in breath. It has been observed that the metabolic profile of cancerous cells differs from non-cancerous cells. Finding breath biomarkers associated to cancer-related metabolic changes would be a significant step forward for early detection.
Breath Biopsy uses the ReCIVA® Breath Sampler for non-invasive breath sample collection, pre-concentrating VOCs directly from breath onto adsorbent tubes. This allows more VOCs to be captured per sample and increases the sensitivity of the system to low abundance VOCs (which is the case in the early stages of disease). Breath Biopsy provides robust biomarker discovery pipelines using GC-MS analysis provided through Breath Biopsy Services. Breath Biopsy is currently in use in our PAN Cancer Trial, which is investigating breath biomarkers for multiple types of cancer.
- ARTICLE: How a Breath Biopsy test could change the face of early cancer detection – Breath Biopsy overview by Balkees Abderrahman from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
- BLOG: Investigating the Warburg Effect could aid early detection of cancer – Breath-based biomarkers produced by cellular metabolism in cancerous cells, represent a potential non-invasive avenue for earlier cancer detection
- POSTER: Biomarkers of lung cancer in former smokers – A Breath Biopsy study with BC Cancer
- PUBLICATION: Chemical signature of colorectal cancer, case–control study for profiling the breath print – Researchers at University Aldo Moro of Bari identify VOCs with discriminatory ability in detecting patients with colorectal cancer
- BLOG: Lipid peroxidation as a source of VOCs on breath – Collection of publications linking lipid peroxidation and exhaled VOCs
- PUBLICATION: Relationship between cancer tissue derived and exhaled volatile organic compound from colorectal cancer patients
- DOWNLOAD: Breath Biopsy: The Complete Guide – Over 100 pages packed with everything you need to know about breath research, and the applications and technologies of Breath Biopsy
- ARTICLE: Breath test for cancer: biomarker screening is underway - Michele Wilson from Technology Networks looks into the breath research field and its potential to act as a diagnostic tool
- BLOG: Avoiding background signals – How the CASPER™ Portable Air Supply enhances Breath Biopsy sensitivity
- REVIEW: The potential of breath analysis to improve outcome for patients with lung cancer
- BLOG: The benefits of breath sampling – Seven reasons to collect and analyze breath samples for your research
- ARTICLE: The Pathologist looks at breath biomarkers – An article summarising the use of breath for early detection and precision medicine
- BLOG: Tips for study design – Expert tips to get the most out of Breath Biopsy
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