(Moncton, NB) October 28th 2020 – The results of an exciting clinical research study that could help lead to enhancements in the way people are screened for lung cancer have been published as part of a major international conference.
Representatives of Picomole Inc., in partnership with Horizon Health Network, recently completed a detailed multi-year study of nearly 200 breath samples collected from lung cancer patients, in addition to healthy subjects.
The study – which received funding support through the New Brunswick Health Research Foundation (NBHRF) and the National Research Council of Canada – examined key biomarkers associated with lung cancer using infrared spectroscopy.
An abstract of the study, entitled Analysis of exhaled breath of lung cancer patients using infrared spectroscopy, has been published by the American Society of Clinical Oncology to coincide with the organization’s Virtual Scientific Program taking place May 29-31.
Picomole CEO Dr. Stephen Graham said the opportunity to share the study’s findings on an international stage further validates the quality research and innovation taking place in collaboration with partners like Horizon.
He said the company’s breath analysis technology – also being harnessed in a separate, ongoing proof of concept study related to breast cancer screening – could be a game-changer, adding the early results of the research have been promising.
“The need for medical technology innovation has never been greater. It takes years of research, development and regulatory attention to bring an innovative product to market,” Graham said. “And one day, we believe Picomole will be able to screen for a range of diseases with a simple breath test.”
Barry Strack, Regional Director of Research Services, said Horizon is once again pleased to provide clinical expertise in collaboration with Picomole on cutting-edge research that can help improve patient outcomes.
“Research is a cornerstone of health care and by partnering with innovative companies like Picomole, we take concrete steps towards developing technologies that may ultimately benefit our population,” Strack said.
The Horizon research team is headed up by Dr. Anthony Reiman, a medical oncologist at Horizon’s Saint John Regional Hospital and Canadian Cancer Society Research Chair with the University of New Brunswick, along with Dr. Mahmoud Abdelsalam and Dr. Luisa Galvis-Gomez, oncologists at Horizon’s The Moncton Hospital and Dr. Everett Chalmers Regional Hospital, respectively.
The study also benefitted from algorithm development support from by Dr. Erik Scheme, New Brunswick Innovative Research Chair in Medical Technology at UNB.
He said the research aligns well with the work taking place in his own laboratory, which is looking into the role machine learning can play in relation to human health and interaction.
“We’re thrilled to be playing an integral role in this exciting international collaboration,” said Dr. Scheme. “The clear potential for scientific, commercial and societal impact makes it such a compelling opportunity for talent recruitment, training and regional benefit.”
Speaking on behalf of the NBHRF, Leah Carr, interim CEO and Director of Research Programs and Human Development, said the foundation was proud to support this study.
She said the potential use of this made-in-New Brunswick technology on a wider scale could make a profound impact.
“We look forward to the transformation in how cancer is diagnosed so it can be caught early and treated quickly, saving countless additional lives,” Carr said.
More details on this study can be viewed here.
Picomole is also pleased to announce, meanwhile, it has received formal ethical approval from the Dana Farber/Harvard Cancer Centre to use our technology in a research study for lung cancer detection.
This research will be conducted at Massachusetts General Hospital, under a team led by renowned thoracic oncologist Dr. Ibiayi Dagogo-Jack.