New cancer biomarkers discovered in breath using 2D GC and TOF MS

Imperial College London, UK

ICL Case StudyProfessor George Hanna from Imperial College London, UK, identified several predictive biomarkers for oesophago-gastric and colorectal cancers using GC×GC with BenchTOF MS .   

Novel predictive biomarkers for cancer have been identified in breath by researchers at Imperial College London (ICL), UK, using two-dimensional gas chromatography with time-of-flight mass spectrometry.

The technique enabled them to detect compounds they had not previously seen in breath samples.  

  • Customer: Imperial College London, UK

  • Application: Breath sample analysis

  • Challenge: To improve the discovery of breath biomarkers to provide new triage procedures

  • Solution: Setting up a system consisting of a thermal desorber with flow-modulated GCxGC and time-of-flight mass spectrometer

  • Results: Identification of trace VOCs in breath enabling discovery of novel biomarkers

Download: Case study "New cancer biomarkers discovered in breath using 2D GC and TOF MS"



Featured on the British TV news:
Breath test to detect oesophageal cancer could be a breakthrough for testing other cancers

Prof. George Hanna was interviewed about his team’s discovery on British TV’s Channel 4 news programme.

The news programme outlined the work in this case study, showing how patients’ breath is sampled and then analysed for VOCs (indicative cancer biomarkers), by TD–GCxGC–TOF MS.

Prof Hanna said: “This system will address the balance of testing people with non-specific symptoms. If [the test] is positive, we refer for camera and endoscopy examination, and if it’s negative, the patient is referred for [appropriate] treatment and we test again if the symptoms persist.”


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