The nose that can smell cancer goes commercial

Published on Tuesday, 19 February 2013 by Webmaster

The nose that can smell cancer goes commercial
An Israeli invention that can detect lung cancer from exhaled breath will be commercialized in a joint venture between the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and Alpha Szenszor, a Boston-based manufacturer of carbon nanotube sensing equipment.

Technion Prof. Hossam Haick has been working on what he calls "Na-Nose" (the "na" is for "nanotechnology") since 2007, and the device has been proven in numerous international clinical trials to differentiate between different types and classifications of cancer with up to 95 percent accuracy.

Patients breathe into a tube; the Na-Nose analyzes the more than 1,000 different gases that are contained in the breath to identify those that may indicate that something's wrong. It works by binding gases to specific nano-materials, a technique formally known as volatile organic compound (VOC) detection.

Na-Nose could potentially change the current reality, where receiving a diagnosis of lung cancer is all too often a death sentence. Eighty-five percent of those with this particularly pernicious form of cancer don't survive more than five years.

Haick, 37, is something of an Israeli scientific superstar. Born and raised in the Christian Arab city of Nazareth, he appeared on Yedioth Ahronoth's list of 50 leading Israelis in 2007; on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review list of 35 leading young scientists for 2008; and in 2010, he was named one of the 10 Most Promising Young Israeli Scientists by Calcalist, and one of the Jerusalem Post's Young Israelis of the Year.




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