Breath Analysis for Lung Cancer Screening Comparable to NLST

“The use of breath analysis for exhaled carbonyl compounds as a lung cancer screening tool is comparable to the results of the National Lung Screening Trial, according to data presented at the American Association for Thoracic Surgery Annual Meeting.

“ ‘We make this conclusion primarily because our stage and histology distribution are similar to that of the NLST,’ Erin M. Schumer, MD, of the University of Louisville, said during a presentation. ‘The breath analysis process is simple, less expensive and limits radiation exposure.’

“Schumer and colleagues conducted a retrospective analysis of 435 patients who were categorized as having lung cancer (n = 162), benign disease (n = 86), or controls (n = 187).

“The researchers collected 1 L of breath in an inert bag from a single exhalation by all patients and analyzed exhaled carbonyl compounds as a screening modality for lung cancer. More than 97% of patients in the lung cancer group had a positive breath analysis vs. 82.6% of the benign group and 32.6% of controls.”