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Home arrow Departments arrow Theoretical Methods arrow Department Projects arrow BAMOD - Breath-gas analysis for molecular-oriented detection of minimal diseases
BAMOD - Breath-gas analysis for molecular-oriented detection of minimal diseases
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Project LSHC-CT-2005-019031 STREP (Sixth Framework Programme of the European Commission)

Duration of the project: 02/2006 - 01/2009

Coordinator: Prof. Anton Amann (Medical University Innsbruck, Austria)

Number of partners: 13 (5 EU countries)

Slovak partner: Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAS) - Institute of Measurement Science (IMS SAS) and Mathematical Institute (MI SAS)

Workpackage leader (Statistical algorithms): Doc. RNDr. Viktor Witkovský, CSc. (IMS SAS)

Financial support: 58.025,65 EUR (SAS only)


Project within the framework of the specific research and technological development programme integrating and strengthening the European Research Area: EU-Project BAMOD - European Commission Sixth Framework

Project Summary

Cancer is one of the leading causes of death in Europe and the western world. At present, diagnosis of cancer very often happens late in the course of the disease since available diagnostic methods are not sufficiently sensitive and specific. An early diagnosis of cancer would improve prognosis and treatment and could save thousands of lives a year.

There is strong evidence to suggest that particular cancers can be detected by molecular analysis of exhaled air. Breath analysis represents a new diagnostic technique that is without risk for the patient even if repeated frequently and can provide information beyond conventional analysis of blood and urine. Recent results suggest that detection of different kinds of cancer is possible by means of breath analysis in very early stages of the disease.

This project is focused on the diagnosis of minimal disease and early stages of lung and oesophageal cancer. The analytical techniques will be gas chromatography with mass spectrometric detection (GC-MS), proton transfer reaction mass spectrometry (PTR-MS), selected ion flow tube mass spectrometry (SIFT-MS), laser spectrometry and ion mobility spectrometry (IMS).

In order to establish a reliable clinical method for the diagnosis of minimal residual cancer diseases clinical expertise, basic research and technical development is necessary. The European consortium set up for this proposal represents exquisite knowledge and skills in the field of basic and clinical research and technical development. Based on its competence, the consortium has the expertise to investigate and screen for hundreds of molecules in the exhaled breath and the statistical tools to identify specific cancer markers.

The objectives of the project are the development of

  • sensitive and specific markers sets for the detection of early cancer stages based on human breath,
  • reliable analytical methods to determine these markers in the clinical environment,
  • easy-to-use and non-expensive equipment establishing breath analysis as a novel cancer screening tool.

The proposal is centred around 5 studies: A lung cancer patient study, an oesophageal cancer study, a study of cancer cell lines, a study of immune-system related cells and a study of bacterial cell lines. The SMEs in our consortium will develop analytical methodology for subsequent use in clinical applications.

Workpackage "Statistical algorithms"

Objectives: Development of statistical algorithms for data analysis of breath gas concentration measurements

  • processing of non-normal distributions of measurement results (higher-order moments and different variances may play a role), performing multiple comparisons (corresponding to different cancer stages and different control groups),
  • establishment of typical patterns in high-dimensional phase spaces (due to consideration of many different substances), establishment of (possibly nonlinear) projection methods from high-dimensional phase spaces to 2- or 3-dim subspaces for visualization.

Measurement Science Review (On-Line Journal)
Staff of Department of Theoretical Methods