The identification of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in exhaled breath is a promising opportunity for noninvasive detection and prediction of treatment outcomes in patients with mesothelioma, according to data from a pilot study presented at the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer 2023 World Conference on Lung Cancer, held Sept. 9 to 12  in Singapore.
Kevin Lamote, Ph.D., from the University of Antwerp in Belgium, and colleagues investigated whether exhaled breath analysis differentiates treatment responders from nonresponders, and if so, whether [ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) ] can serve as predictive biomarkers. The analysis included 13 patients with malignant pleural mesothelioma who underwent breath and background samples (collected via multicapillary, column-ion mobility spectrometry), as well as a computed tomography (CT) scan before and every three months after treatment. A [ volatile organic compound (VOC) ] biomarker predictive model was then trained to predict treatment outcome based on the associated breath sample from the previous study visit.
The researchers found that the model could distinguish between stable and progressive patients in follow-up samples with 89 percent accuracy. At baseline, the model could predict treatment outcome with the same level of accuracy. Because there were no significant differences in treatment between stable and progressive patients, results suggest the selected [ volatile organic compounds (VOCs) ]are involved in more general mechanisms or are correlated with the tumor microenvironment, rather than being treatment-specific.
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