M.Sc Thesis

M.Sc StudentVinnik Elena
SubjectMonitoring Chemotherapy Treatment of Lung Cancer via
Exhaled Breath Using an Electronic Nose
DepartmentDepartment of Chemical Engineering
Supervisor PROF. Hossam Haick
Full Thesis textFull thesis text - English Version


Chemotherapy, in its most general sense, refers to treatment of disease by chemicals that kill cells, specifically those of microorganisms or cancer. It is usually given as a series of sessions of treatment, where each session is followed by a rest period. The session of chemotherapy and the rest periods are generally determined by wide variety of unpleasant invasive tests as well as radioactive imaging techniques. In this research we used crossreactive gold nanoparticle sensors (Au NPs) in conjugation with pattern recognition methods for monitoring chemotherapy of lung cancer treatment via exhaled breath analysis. For each specific patient, we have monitored the treatment efficiency at different chemotherapy sessions and found a good correlation with the findings from traditional monitoring techniques. Additionally, the influence of chemotherapy drugs on monitoring results was investigated. For this purpose, seven cancerous lung cancer patients were monitored during their chemotherapy treatment. While part of the patients showed satisfying correlation with their CT results, the other part have not shown clear or systematic changes in the course of the treatment’s period.  Furthermore, the results provide hints that changes in the chemistry of exhaled breath occur much before that in tumor morphology, viz. exhaled breath could be used for earlier detection of lung cancer. Nevertheless, these conclusions should be examined more thoroughly and supported with wider statistics. To obtain knowledge on the chemical nature of the volatile compounds exerted in exhaled breath Gas-Chromatography/Mass-Spectrometry (GC-MS) linked with Solid Phase Microextraction (SPME) were carried out. The GC-MS/SPME results showed different composition of healthy breath and cancerous breath before receiving chemotherapy and cancerous breath after receiving chemotherapy. These results were explained in terms of formation and consumption of various VOCs upon interaction of the chemotherapy drugs with cancer cell or VOCs in blood. Overall, the results presented in this thesis indicate that arrays of cross-reactive sensors might be used for simple, noninvasive and inexpensive monitoring of lung cancer chemotherapy treatment, upon further Research and Development (R&D). These features are expected to decrease the inconvenience degree of cancer patients and to increase the work efficiency of oncologists.