Breast cancer is one of the most common and one of the most treatable human malignancies. One in every ten women now develops breast cancer at some time in her life. The National Cancer Institute estimated that more than 232,000 women would be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013 and nearly 40,000 would die of the disease. There is a clinical need for a rapid, painless and safe point of care screening test for breast cancer that does not expose a woman to radiation.
Researchers discovered 20 years ago that women with breast cancer have abnormal volatile chemicals in their breath. But only recently have we learned how to use these chemicals for early screening. BreathLink is a six-minute breath test that accurately identified women with early stage breast cancer or an abnormal screening mammogram.
A study of 244 women, published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE was performed at three breast cancer centers: St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark, NJ, Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, WA and Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
A negative result on the breath test was especially useful, because it ruled out both breast cancer andan abnormal screening mammogram with almost 100% accuracy.
Since most normal healthy woman will have a negative breath test result, and this test might eventually be used to identify women who do not need a routine screening mammogram.
The US National Institutes of Health and the Dutch Pink Ribbon Foundation funded the research.
(PDF Document) Rapid Point-Of-Care Breath Test for Biomarkers of Breast Cancer and Abnormal Mammograms.
Phillips M, Beatty JD, Cataneo RN, Huston J, Kaplan PD, Lalisang RI, Lambin P, Lobbes MBI, Mundada M, Pappas N, Patel U
PLOS ONE (Mar. 5, 2014)
(PDF Document) Volatile biomarkers in the breath of women with breast cancer.
Phillips M, Cataneo RN, Saunders C, Hope P, Schmitt P, and Wai J
Journal of Breath Research (Mar. 2, 2010)