Chewing gum freshens your breath – and in this case it could save your life.
A biotech company has developed gum that could determine whether or not you have cancer. The gum absorbs what are called ‘volatiles’ in a person’s saliva as they chew it – chemical compounds which are released by certain forms of cancer. After it has been chewed for 15 minutes, the product is then analyzed to determine whether or not it contains these specific chemicals. So far, scientists at the Alabama-based firm Volatile Analysis have developed different types of gum can detect pancreatic cancer, lung cancer and breast cancer.
Researchers tell Daily Mail Online that, if successful, it could mean the end of blood tests, urine samples and biopsies.
Chemicals produced in the body, called volatile organic compounds, are unique to each type of cancer. For example, a healthy lung and a lung infected with cancer exhale different compounds. Katherine Bazemore, president and CEO of Volatile Analysis, teamed up with non-profit Hudson Alpha to develop the product. She explained that by determining which of those compounds are found in the gum, doctors can tell which type of cancer is present in the patient.
The gum is still in the testing stage so it may be too early to determine how well it will work. However, the company hopes to make the gum available to doctors and patients sometime next year and expects that it will also be able to detect different diseases such as tuberculosis.
Source: Daily Mail