The founder and lead surgeon of Choice Cancer Care talks about a test under development.
Irving, TX, Sept 30, 2017 — People diagnosed with lung cancer may soon find their doctors better positioned to track the success or failure of treatments in real time. A relatively new breath test is proving very useful in studies for helping healthcare providers more quickly gauge treatment failure or success right at a patient’s bedside.
The test in question is designed to instantly screen for specific lung cancer biomarkers that are evident in patients’ breath. All patients need to do is provide a breath sample for the test to be performed. In a recent analysis of its potential, the screening produced very positive results. Researchers collected more than 140 breath samples from about 40 patients. These patients also underwent routine CT scans to determine treatment effectiveness. Ultimately, the study revealed an 85 percent success rate in the breath test for providing accurate insights on patient reactions to anti-cancer treatments.
“The test holds tremendous promise for helping more readily guide and target lung cancer treatments,” explains Dr. Gregory Echt, founder and lead surgeon at Choice Cancer Care. “CT scans are and will likely remain the gold standard in tracking treatment effectiveness, but they do have some potential drawbacks. The recommended intervals between CT testing make it difficult to identify treatment failure early on. The breath test may fill in the blanks in between CT scans, enabling faster, more precise treatment.”
How soon the breath test might be made available outside of studies remains unclear. Further testing is required.
An estimated 222,000 Americans are diagnosed with lung cancer each year with about 155,000 deaths attributed to the cause. Advances, such as the breath test, may someday soon enable healthcare providers to improve the odds of a positive outcomes. People at risk for lung cancer are strongly urged to speak with their healthcare providers.
Choice Cancer Care is an independent, physician-owned cancer center network. Dr. Gregory Echt, a radiation oncologist with over two decades of experience, is the founder of Choice Cancer Care. Choice Cancer Care is among the busiest practices in the country for brachytherapy, or prostate seed implant therapy – a cancer treatment plan for prostate cancer that provides remarkable success rates and fewer life-limiting side effects.