The Breath Biopsy device is being trialed in the UK and is designed to analyse molecules that could indicate the presence of cancer at an early stage.
It is the first test of its kind to investigate multiple cancer types and could save thousands of lives.
Professor Rebecca Fitzgerald, lead trial investigator at the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre, said: “We urgently need to develop new tools, like this breath test, which could help to detect and diagnose cancer earlier, giving patients the best chance of surviving their disease.”
The trial will start with patients with suspected oesophageal and stomach cancers and extend to prostate, kidney, bladder, liver and pancreatic cancers in the coming months.
If the technology proves to accurately identify cancer, the team hope breath biopsies could be used in GP practices.
Almost half of cancers are diagnosed at a late stage in England, highlighting the importance of early detection, particularly for diseases like oesophageal cancer where only 12 per cent of patients survive the disease for 10 years or more.
The trial is a collaboration between the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Centre and Owlstone Medical and is taking place at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge.
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