Developing a breath test for pancreatic cancer

Developing a breath test that can be used in the GP surgery to improve the early detection of pancreatic cancer.

Professor George Hanna
Location: Imperial College London
Date: January 2023
Project status: Ongoing

The challenge

Early detection saves lives, and yet, currently 80% of people with pancreatic cancer are diagnosed too late for treatment that could save their life. The vague symptoms of pancreatic cancer mean that it is very difficult for GPs to identify those who need urgent referral for further investigation. We desperately need new tools to help GPs identify pancreatic cancer at an earlier stage.

The project

Professor Hanna and his team are developing a breath test which could be used in the GP surgery to quickly and easily identify those patients with vague symptoms who are most likely to have pancreatic cancer.

This research builds on our previous work in the area of early detection, particularly the work of our Early Diagnosis Research Alliance.

The hope

The research team hope that in the future, it will be possible to use a breath test to detect and distinguish between multiple different types of cancer, a development that could revolutionise cancer detection and potentially save millions of lives.

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I am so excited that this is all coming together to fruition. I remember saying that this tool is going to be a game changer against the battle with pancreatic cancer.

Charles Czajkowski, patient advisor and co-applicant

Meet the researcher

Professor George Hanna