Maybe coming soon to a medical center near you?

Our regular readers will remember that we have commented on and off on the development of different types of system that (maybe) can be used to test for risk of cancer based on smell … an ability that has been clearly demonstrated among certain trained dogs and one of two electronic systems.

According to recent reports in publications like the Washington Times and Forbes magazine, Cancer Research UK has recently initiated the first true clinical trial of such a system in humans at its Cambridge, UK, research center. The original media release issued by Cancer Research UK on Wednesday this week is also available on line.

According to that media release and other sources:

  • The trial is actually known as the Pan-cancer early detection study.
  • The trial actually started to enroll patient last September.
  • It is being run in collaboration with a commercial firm known as Owlstone Medical and will test this company’s Breath Biopsy® technology.
  • It is initially recruiting and enrolling patients suspected as having stomach and esophageal cancers.
  • Later on it will be expanded to enroll patients suspected of having other forms of solid tumor — specifically inclusive of prostate cancer.
  • The trial will initially be open to patients in the UK who are referred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
  • A total of 1,500 individuals are expected to be enrolled in the trial, including people with no known risk for cancer.
  • The trial is expected to run through 2021.

As we have long discussed, this type of diagnostic system and methodology has the potential to revolutionize screening and diagnosis of many types of cancer … but we need to know that it will really work accurately in the real world of day to day clinical medicine.

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