A new study reported in in the journal Chromatographia concluded that the concentration of certain molecules, mainly ethenol and 2-butanone, are higher in individuals with cancer, and therefore act as potential markers of the disease for various types of cancers of the head and neck and larynx. In their study, researchers compared the volatile substances exhaled by 11 patients with cancer of the larynx with those of 20 healthy people. Results showed that the air exhaled by the more seriously ill patients-in stage T3-contained different concentrati9ns of seven compounds compared with the levels of healthy people of those with less developed tumors (T1) Those with advanced disease had graphic peaks representing ethanol (C2H60) and 2-butanone (C4H8O) and these become potential markers of laryngeal carcinoma.In the study subjects were asked to breathe into tedial bags after fasting for at least eight hours to avoid any leftover food or drink on their breath. Samplkes were then analyzed with solid phase micro-extraction, gas chromatography and mass spectrometry techniques, that enable very small amounts of substance. to be separated and identified. More research is planner with larger samples with the ultimate aim of creating an electronic nose that can be used for the early detection of these types of cancer.
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