Posted on Dec 29, 2015, 6 a.m.
The temperature of exhaled breath could be used to diagnose lung cancer.
There is keen interest in developing non-invasive cancer diagnostics, with a number of scientific teams devising breath tests for various cancers. Elisiana Carpagnano, from the University of Foggia (Italy), and colleagues have found that breath temperature may serve as as a marker for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). The researchers enrolled 82 people in the study who had been referred for a full diagnostic test after an x-ray suggested the presence of lung cancer. 40 patients received a positive diagnosis, while 42 patients had the diagnosis rejected. Researchers measured the temperature of exhaled breath in all patients using a breath thermometer device, known as an X-Halo device. The results demonstrated that the patients with lung cancer had a higher breath temperature than those without. The temperature also increased with the number of years a person had smoked and the stage at which their lung cancer had developed. The researchers also identified a cut-off value in the measurement of temperature, which they proved could identify lung cancer with a high level of accuracy. The study authors write that: “Our results suggest that lung cancer causes an increase in the [exhaled breath temperature], which, whether confirmed and validated, could become a new non-invasive clinical tool in the screening and monitoring of this disease.”
Carpagnano GE, Lacedonia D, Spanevello A, Martinelli D, Saliani V, Ruggieri C, Foschino-Barbaro MP. “Exhaled breath temperature in NSCLC: could be a new non-invasive marker?” Med Oncol. 2014 May;31(5):952.