The NaNose technology, first used in detecting lung cancer, has now been shown as an effective tool in detecting early-stage gastric (stomach) cancer as well.

According to a study in the medical journal, Gut, the diagnostic tool developed by Dr. Hossam Haick of the Technion Institute of Technology matched the results picked up by the standard method of gastric cancer detection, called gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GCMS).

“The attraction of this test lies in its non-invasiveness, ease of use, rapid predictiveness, and potentially low cost,” said Prof Hossam Haick, of the Department of Chemical Engineering and Russell Berrie Nanotechnology Institute in Haifa.

The study showed that people with cancer and those without the disease had distinctive “breath prints.” The report said the test was also able to distinguish between the different pre-cancerous stages.

“Currently, there is no perfect noninvasive tool to screen for stomach cancer,” said Haick. “Small and inexpensive sensing technology could be developed and used to fulfill these clinical needs.”