A group of American researchers have revealed that early detection of lung cancer is possible by analyzing the epithelial cells found in a patient's nose.
Researchers from the Boston University Medical Centre conducted the study on 33 smokers, 22 of whom were found to suffer from lung cancer while the remaining 11 had benign disease. Samples were taken from the nostril with no preference to either the left or the right.
The samples were profiled on microarrays and the researchers found that over 170 genes had different levels of activity depending on whether the patient had lung cancer.
"Our data suggests that evaluating gene expression changes in nasal cells found in the interior surface of the nose may serve as a non-invasive approach for the early detection of lung cancer in smokers", lead researcher Christina Anderlind said.