'Electronic Nose' Could Identify People Susceptible To Oesophageal Cancer

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An 'Electric Nose' that is currently being designed by researchers can help identify people that have a high chance of deloping oesophagus cancer.

Written By Shubham Bose | Mumbai | Updated On:
'Electronic nose' to sniff out oesophageal cancer

A new device that has been designed by researchers can help identify people that have a high chance of deloping oesophagus cancer. According to reports, this is an electronic device that will be able to 'sniff' people's breaths and identify those with a certain condition that makes them more likely to develop a form of cancer of the oesophagus.

About oesophageal cancer

As per reports, Barrett’s oesophagus is a precancerous condition in which the cells that line the food pipe start to change and grow abnormally. These individuals are reportedly 11 times more susceptible to a particular type of oesophageal cancer called oesophageal adenocarcinoma compared to other people.

As per reports, under normal circumstances, this condition has no symptoms and generally occurs in those who have a long-term acid-reflux problem. Being male, over the age of 50, and overweight or obese are also some of the contributing factors. According to reports, the only way currently to diagnose Barrett's oesophagus is to rely on an endoscopy, which is very expensive and invasive.

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This new 'electric nose' that has been developed by researchers will be able to distinguish between people with or without Barrett's oesophagus by simply analysing their breaths. According to the team of researchers, this new non-invasive method will prompt more people to take up screenings of the condition and thereby reduce the number of cases of Oesophageal cancer.

According to reports, the researchers wrote about their device and its workings in the science journal Guts. They said that they had tested their device on 402 patients that were scheduled to undergo an endoscopy.  As per reports, the electronic device was able to correctly identify patients with Barrett's oesophagus 91 per cent of the time and it correctly determined people without the condition 74 per cent of the time.

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The researchers want to try and test their device on a larger scale next and believe that this will increase the system's accuracy. According to the researchers, the electronic nose can be available to general physicians in two to three years if further tests are positive.

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