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Diagnosis of Lung Cancer From Exhaled Breath With Silicon Biophotonic Device.

21 Years
Open (Enrolling)
Lung Cancer

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Trial Information

Diagnosis of Lung Cancer From Exhaled Breath With Silicon Biophotonic Device.

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths throughout the world and accounts for more
than 1.2M new cases worldwide annually, making lung cancer one of the most serious public
health problems in industrialized countries. Up to date there is no valid screening method
for lung cancer. Thus it is often diagnosed at an advance stage when treatment is less
effective, which consequantly leads to high mortality rate. However, with early diagnosis
and treatment, the 5-year survival rate improves dramatically from 1% in stage 4, 20% in
stage 3 to 70% in stage 1 disease. Therefore early diagnosis plays a pivotal role in
improving survival for this otherwise uniformly fatal disease. In recently studies, it was
found that some of the products of metabolism, called volatile organic comounds (VOCs), are
carried in the breath and can serve as biomarkers. Cancer cells produce different types of
VOCs than normal cells do. More importantly, these VOC markers can be found in exhaled
breath for cancer stages 1 through 4.

Combining the strength of IME's in the biophotonics, the research groups at NUS in basic
science and the NUH clinician's knowledge and expertise in lung cancer, this proposal is
aiming to tackle the challenge of lung cancer screening by developing a non-invasive,
inexpensive, and accurate sensor platform to detect VOCs in exhaled breath. The device will
consists of arrays of silicon micro-ring resonator sensors coated with polymers with
different organic functionalities, in which each sensor is widely responsive to a variety of
VOCs. In this proposal, we plan to build a prototype device and test for the detection of
VOCs in exhaled breath from healthy controls and lung cancer patients. The successful
outcome of this proposal would have an immense impact on lung cancer management by enabling
an early stage cancer screening.

Inclusion Criteria:

- All patients aged above 21 years, capable of giving consent and suspected of lung
cancer with radiological lung nodules and masses.

Exclusion Criteria:

- Patients with contra-indications to bronchoscopy and CT-TTNA that include active
myocardial ischemia, uncorrected coagulopathy, severe respiratory distress,
uncontrollable cough, and pregnancy will be excluded. Before females in the
reproductive age are recruited, urine pregnancy test will be performed and confirmed

Type of Study:


Study Design:

Intervention Model: Single Group Assignment, Masking: Open Label, Primary Purpose: Diagnostic

Outcome Measure:

Identification of signature VOCs as ling cancer biomarkers by comparing VOC contents between alveolar gas from lung nodules and exhaled gas.

Safety Issue:


Principal Investigator

Pyng Lee, MD

Investigator Role:

Principal Investigator

Investigator Affiliation:

National University Hospital, Singapore


Singapore: Biomedical Research Council (BMRC)

Study ID:




Start Date:

April 2012

Completion Date:

March 2014

Related Keywords:

  • Lung Cancer
  • Exhaled breath condensate (EBC) method
  • Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)
  • Endobronchial Ultrasound (EBUS)
  • Confocal Endoscopy
  • Exhaled alveolar gas
  • Lung Neoplasms