Exhaled breath condensate for lung cancer protein analysis: A review of methods and biomarkers

Sarah A. Hayes, Simon Haefliger, Benjamin Harris, Nick Pavlakis, Stephen J. Clarke, Mark P. Molloy, Viive M. Howell

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Lung cancer is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths worldwide, and is considered one of the most aggressive human cancers, with a 5 year overall survival of 10-15%. Early diagnosis of lung cancer is ideal; however, it is still uncertain as to what technique will prove successful in the systematic screening of high-risk populations, with the strongest evidence currently supporting low dose computed tomography (LDCT). Analysis of exhaled breath condensate (EBC) has recently been proposed as an alternative low risk and non-invasive screening method to investigate early-stage neoplastic processes in the airways. However, there still remains a relative paucity of lung cancer research involving EBC, particularly in the measurement of lung proteins that are centrally linked to pathogenesis. Considering the ease and safety associated with EBC collection, and advances in the area of mass spectrometry based profiling, this technology has potential for use in screening for the early diagnosis of lung cancer. This review will examine proteomics as a method of detecting markers of neoplasia in patient EBC with a particular emphasis on LC, as well as discussing methodological challenges involving in proteomic analysis of EBC specimens.

Original languageEnglish
Article number034001
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Breath Research
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2016


  • biomarker discovery
  • exhaled breath condensate
  • lung cancer
  • proteomics


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