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7 September 2018

Dr Robert Rintoul gives LuCID trial update

Dr Robert Rintoul’s work on the LuCID breath test trial – which aims to help develop a breathalyser kit that can identify cancer biomarkers -  featured in several newspaper stories this week.

Royal Papworth Hospital’s Lead Clinician for Cancer, who is overseeing the study of 4,000 patients as part of the lung cancer trial, explained that at present there wasn’t a good technique for identifying early stage signs of the disease.

Dr Rintoul told the Sunday Express: “We hope we will be able to detect cancers with more specificity and more sensitivity than previous tests and the new breath collection mask and microchip are at the heart of this.

“Sensitivity and accuracy is the holy grail of cancer diagnostics.

“Although there have been other breath tests trialled, we hope this new technology will be more sensitive and accurate for detecting early stage disease.”

The new breathalyser kit, which aims to identify cancer signatures using a sensor on a microchip, is being developed by Cambridge-based diagnostics company Owlstone Medical. It is hoped that in the future it will be small and easy enough to use in a doctor’s surgery or on a hospital ward.