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Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2011 Apr;126(3):791-6. doi: 10.1007/s10549-010-1317-x. Epub 2010 Dec 29.

Classification of breast cancer precursors through exhaled breath.

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The Department of Chemical Engineering and Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, 32000 Haifa, Israel.


Certain benign breast diseases are considered to be precursors of invasive breast cancer. Currently available techniques for diagnosing benign breast conditions lack accuracy. The purpose of this study was to deliver a proof-of-concept for a novel method that is based on breath testing to identify breast cancer precursors. Within this context, the authors explored the possibility of using exhaled alveolar breath to identify and distinguish between benign breast conditions, malignant lesions, and healthy states, using a small-scale, case-controlled, cross-sectional clinical trial. Breath samples were collected from 36 volunteers and were analyzed using a tailor-made nanoscale artificial NOSE (NA-NOSE). The NA-NOSE signals were analyzed using two independent methods: (i) principal component analysis, ANOVA and Student's t-test and (ii) support vector machine analysis to detect statistically significant differences between the sub-populations. The NA-NOSE could distinguish between all studied test populations. Breath testing with a NA-NOSE holds future potential as a cost-effective, fast, and reliable diagnostic test for breast cancer risk factors and precursors, with possible future potential as screening method.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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