Using breath analysis as a better way to diagnose lung cancer

  • University of Louisville Vogt Bldg., room 311 Louisville, KY 40203

Lung cancer is responsible for more cancer deaths per year than breast, prostate, and colon cancer combined. The majority of lung cancer diagnoses are unfortunately when the disease is already at an advanced age, which limits the treatment options and contributes to the high mortality. In an effort to identify patients with cancer earlier, CT scan screening has been approved for high risk patients. While this has improved mortality from lung cancer, it has also lead to the identification of a large number of indeterminate pulmonary nodules, with a concomitant increase in unnecessary procedures for benign disease. We are working on a breath analysis test to identify lung cancer more conclusively, in an effort to improve the efficiency of disease recognition.

Speaker: Dr. Victor van Berkel obtained his M.D. and Ph. D. degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, and then received general surgery training at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston before completing his cardiothoracic training at Washington University.  He came to the University of Louisville in 2010, focusing on thoracic oncology and lung transplants. Dr. van Berkel is the surgical director of the Lung Transplant Program, and the Division Chief of Thoracic Surgery within the Department of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgery at the School of Medicine.