A few years ago, researchers found that Dogs could actually identify people with cancer at a 99% accuracy rate by simply smelling human’s breath.
One of the problems with this diagnostic method though is that hospitals and doctors offices have not been inclined to house and care for these animals in medical facilities treating people.
Technology to the rescue and this one has no dog in the fight…
The Metabolomx is a computing machine with attached breathing tube that can be rolled over to a patient who breathes into it for just 4 minutes to can get a diagnose on the spot.
This is very different from current methods and is without painful and intrusive tests (such as biopsies) or waiting weeks for lab results to come back and be read by your doctor.
The machine captures and analyzes the chemistry of the person’s exhaled breath in the form of aerosolized molecules and determines it’s “smell signature”.
According to Bloomberg BusinessWeek (5-11 March 2012), by comparing the sample smell to the biomarkers for cancer, the Metabolomx has already achieved an 80% success ratefor detecting lung cancer.
A newer version of the machine is 100 to 1,000 times more sensitive, which should greatly improve accuracy, hopefully hitting at or above 93%, which will make it viable for commercial use.
The Metabolomx is envisioned be able to detect and differentiate between various types of cancer such as lung, breast, colon, and more.
Moreover, this technology is not limited to just cancer–but other companies such as Menssana are testing it with tuberculosis and pediatric asthma.
Further, another benefit of the Metabolonx is that is can not only be used to diagnose cancer, but to signal reduction or elimination of the cancer with various treatments.
I hope the next step for technology like the Metabolomx is to not only detect the cancer, but be able to “zap it” and rid it from our bodies–then we’ll have a technology that can really snuff out the cancer.