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Nanomedicine. 2013 Jan;9(1):15-21. doi: 10.1016/j.nano.2012.07.009. Epub 2012 Sep 8.

A nanomaterial-based breath test for short-term follow-up after lung tumor resection.

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


In this case study, we demonstrate the feasibility of nanomaterial-based sensors for identifying the breath-print of early-stage lung cancer (LC) and for short-term follow-up after LC-resection. Breath samples were collected from a small patient cohort prior to and after lung resection. Gas-chromatography/mass-spectrometry showed that five volatile organic compounds were significantly reduced after LC surgery. A nanomaterial-based sensor-array distinguished between pre-surgery and post-surgery LC states, as well as between pre-surgery LC and benign states. In contrast, the same sensor-array could neither distinguish between pre-surgery and post-surgery benign states, nor between LC and benign states after surgery. This indicates that the observed pattern is associated with the presence of malignant lung tumors. The proof-of-concept presented here has initiated a large-scale clinical study for post-surgery follow-up of LC patients.


Monitoring for tumor recurrence remains very challenging due to post-surgical and radiation therapy induced changes in target organs, which often renders standard radiological identification of recurrent malignancies inaccurate. In this paper a novel nanotechnology-based sensor array is used for identification of volatile organic compounds in exhaled air that enable identification of benign vs. malignant states.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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