'Revolutionary' breath test for cancer begins clinical trial

A breath test for cancer that's been called revolutionary is being clinically trialled for the first time.

It would be a non-invasive away to diagnose cancers at an early stage.

The test analyses molecules that may indicate if cancer is present in a person's breath and it's being trialled by the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Center.

It works by a patient breathing in to the machine for 15 minutes. Their breath is then stored in cylinders and sent off to be tested to see if odorous molecules called volatile organic compounds can be found within it.

"The idea behind this is revolutionary because the problem with cancer is, at the moment, that cases present at a very advanced stage - which means the treatment is quite invasive," Rebecca Fitzgerald, the lead trial investigator, told ITV News.

"If you detect cancer early, the treatments you need are much, much less invasive".

The trial is composed of around 1500 people who have been referred by their GP's. It will take place at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge.

Prof. Fitzgerald says she thinks "the stage we're at is that the technology is ripe for testing".

If it works, the technology could be put in place throughout the UK in just a few years.