Breathing easier

Researchers at St. Joseph’s Healthcare Hamilton are hoping lung cancer patients will live longer, healthier lives thanks to an “electronic nose” that uses their breath to tell if cancer has returned after surgery.

Lung cancer is responsible for more deaths in Canada than colorectal, breast and prostate cancer combined. Surgery is the favoured treatment, but recurrence rates are high. Currently, hospitals screen for lung cancer recurrence using expensive, time-consuming, uncomfortable CT scans, which expose patients to risky levels of radiation.

A research grant from HCF’s Community Health, Education and Research Fund is supporting the study of a new method at St. Joseph’s called a liquid biopsy that is less expensive, painless, radiation-free, and can be conducted from the comfort of a patient’s home. Best of all, it may lead to earlier recurrence detection than a CT scan.

If successful, St. Joseph’s would be the first Canadian medical centre to use liquid biopsies to detect lung cancer. The two-year project will continue until summer 2025.

From Fall 2023 Legacy Newsletter