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(Moncton, NB) March 18th 2021 – Picomole is excited to announce a new research partnership with the University of California, Irvine (UCI). The partnership is focused on a research project to detect the presence of early-stage lung cancer in breath. Samples will be collected at UCI using Picomole breath sampling technology and will be processed and analyzed in the Picomole laboratory to determine the presence of lung cancer through the analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds.

Research will be conducted by Ali Mahtabifard, MD. Dr. Mahtabifard specializes in minimally invasive thoracic surgery and is an expert in leading-edge treatments for lung cancer and lung metastases, esophageal cancer, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), hyperhidrosis (excessive sweating), as well as mediastinal, chest wall and airway disorders.

Dr. Ali Mahtabifard

​The research project has received ethics approval and the research team has commenced sample collection. Along with ethics approval, a COVID-19 risk assessment has been carried out to ensure that sample collection using Picomole technology is safe in a COVID-19 environment.

​This study will compare breath born VOCs of early-stage lung cancer patients to non-lung cancer breath profiles using infrared spectroscopy to determine the existence of non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) in 52 patients. Previous research has confirmed that Picomole breath analytics technology can differentiate between breath samples from diagnosed lung cancer patients and non-lung cancer controls. The primary objective of the UCI study is to analyze breath born VOCs of early-stage lung cancer patients in comparison to non-lung cancer breath profiles to determine the existence of NSCLC.

​The detection of early-stage lung cancer using a non-invasive, accessible technology would be a ground-breaking advancement in lung cancer screening.  Survival rates for lung cancer are especially poor, with just 8-16% of patients in the industrialized world surviving 5 years after the initial diagnosis. A patient diagnosed with lung cancer today is no more likely to survive the disease for five or more years than a patient undergoing lung cancer surgery in the 1950s. This grim statistic is partly due to the lack of a robust and cost-effective diagnostic test for lung cancer when it is at the most treatable early stage. Up to 80% of lung cancer diagnoses happen in the advanced stages of the disease, at which point treatment options are limited.

For further information, please contact us through

Just Breathe® 

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