Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Researchers Developing New Tool to Detect Cancer

27.08.2008
Early cancer detection can significantly improve survival rates. Current diagnostic tests often fail to detect cancer in the earliest stages and at the same time expose a patient to the harmful effects of radiation.

Led by Dr. Patrick McCann, a small group of internationally known researchers at the University of Oklahoma with expertise in the development of mid-infrared lasers is working to create a sensor to detect biomarker gases exhaled in the breath of a person with cancer.

Proof-of-concept detection of a suspected lung cancer biomarker in exhaled breath has already been established as reported by the Oklahoma group in the July 2007 issue of Applied Optics. The research was inspired by studies showing that dogs can detect cancer by sniffing the exhaled breath of cancer patients.

For example, by smelling breath samples, dogs identified breast and lung cancer patients with accuracies of 88 and 97 percent, respectively, as reported in the March 2006 issue of Integrative Cancer Therapies. The evidence is clear—gas phase molecules are uniquely associated with cancer.

Intrigued by the concept of using breath analysis to detect cancer, McCann saw an opportunity to use mid-infrared laser technology to help elucidate the relationship between specific gas phase biomarker molecules and cancer. He believes it is possible to develop easy-to-use detection devices for cancer, particularly for hard-to-detect cancers like lung cancer. McCann says we need sensors that detect these gas phase cancer biomarkers. “A device that measures cancer specific gases in exhaled breath would change medical research, as we know it.”

McCann says the science and technology exist to support the development of a new tool to detect cancer, but the research will take from five to 10 years to get low-cost devices into the clinic. OU may have the strongest contingent of researchers dedicated to providing a solution to the problem using this approach. Even though studies confirm that dogs can detect cancer by smelling the gases, they can’t tell us what gases they smell. It’s up to the medical research community using the best measurement tools to figure that out.

According to McCann, “Improved methods to detect molecules have been demonstrated, and more people need to be using these methods to detect molecules given off from cancer. We have developed laser-based methods to detect molecules. Mid-infrared lasers can measure suspected cancer biomarkers—ethane, formaldehyde and acetaldehyde.” McCann will use nanotechnology to improve laser performance and shrink laser systems, which would allow battery-powered operation of a handheld sensor device.

“You often have to go outside your discipline to pioneer new areas of research and Oklahoma has an advantage with so many experts in other fields. But getting funding for interdisciplinary research is challenging. However, more capital and research infrastructure are needed for this device to become a reality. As we build upon our existing capabilities Oklahoma can become more widely known as a center of excellence in this important area.”

Even though McCann is not a cancer researcher, he wants his research on developing innovative laser technology to benefit the millions of people who would otherwise suffer from a late-stage cancer diagnosis. McCann knows it can be done. He says, “The science supports it, and the dogs tell us there is something there.”

For more information about Dr. Patrick McCann and his research, send an e-mail to pmccann@ou.edu

Jana Smith | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.ou.edu

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Team discovers how bacteria exploit a chink in the body's armor
20.01.2017 | University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Rabies viruses reveal wiring in transparent brains
19.01.2017 | Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Helmholtz International Fellow Award for Sarah Amalia Teichmann

20.01.2017 | Awards Funding

An innovative high-performance material: biofibers made from green lacewing silk

20.01.2017 | Materials Sciences

Ion treatments for cardiac arrhythmia — Non-invasive alternative to catheter-based surgery

20.01.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>