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[翻译]Health Report - Researchers Test for Cancer in a Person's Breath

更新时间:2019/1/21 20:19:43 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

In the United States, many people think of drunk driving when they hear the term “breathalyzer.”

在美国,很多人一听到“呼吸分析器”这个词就会想到醉驾。

If you are suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol, police will most likely ask you to breathe into a breathalyzer. This device identifies how much alcohol is in your blood by measuring the amount of alcohol in your breath.

如果你疑似饮酒驾车,警察就很可能会要求你对着呼吸分析器吹气。这个设备可以通过测量呼吸中的酒精含量来确定血液中的酒精含量。

Now, researchers are using the same technology to test for something else: cancer.

现在,研究人员开始利用同样的技术来测试癌症。

This breathalyzer, created by Owlstone Medical, can identify and measure chemicals in a person’s breath. And it finds these chemicals at very low levels, usually parts per billion.

这个由欧尔斯通医疗公司(Owlstone Medical)打造的呼吸分析器可以确定和测量人类呼吸中的化学物质,它发现的这些化学物质含量非常低,通常是十亿分之一。

British researchers have asked 1,500 people to take part in tests of the device. Each person will wear a special mask and breathe normally for 10 minutes. The mask is equipped with collection tubes. These tubes the chemicals in the person’s breath.

英国研究人员邀请了1500人参与该设备的测试。每个人都会戴上一个特殊的面罩,并正常呼吸10分钟。这个面罩配备了收集管,这些管子会捕获人类呼吸中的化学物质。

The lead investigator is Rebecca Fitzgerald of Cambridge University in England. She says the Owlstone breathalyzer is a simple device.

英国剑桥大学的Rebecca Fitzgerald是首席调查员。她说,欧尔斯通呼吸分析仪是一个简单的设备。

"These tubes -- simple though they look -- this is one of the things that's made a real difference in this technology looking so promising, because for the first time the chemicals that are breathed out in the breath, can be collected in these tubes and immediately stabilized. So as you keep breathing you're capturing more and more of those chemicals and you're building up a profile of the chemicals in your body that are being exhaled on the breath."

她说:“这些管子虽然看上去很简单,却是让这项技术看上去如此有前景的原因之一。因为人体呼吸中呼出的化学物质首次可以通过这些管子收集并快速稳定。这样当你呼吸的时候,就能捕获越来越多的化学物质,并建立体内化学物质的大致轮廓。”

The tubes are then sent to Owlstone's laboratory. There, researchers examined the volatile organic compounds in the breath. Those VOCs, as they are known, are produced by the body's normal chemical processes.

然后这些管子被送到欧尔斯通的实验室。在那里,研究人员会检查呼吸中的挥发性有机化合物,它们是在人体正常的化学过程中产生的。

However, changes in chemical activity can produce particular markings. And those markings can be biomarkers, providing evidence of disease.

然而,化学活性的变化会产生特殊的标记,它们可能是能证明某种疾病的生物标志物。

Some biomarkers may show evidence of cancer in its earliest stages. Cancer develops in stages. The earlier cancer is identified, the greater the chance of survival.

一些生物标志物会显示出癌症早期。癌症分阶段发展,越早确诊癌症,生存几率就越大。

One of Owlstone’s founders is Billy Boyle. He says cancer often appears or as he says, “presents” itself after it has spread.

比利·博伊尔(Billy Boyle)是欧尔斯通公司的创始人之一。他说,癌症经常在扩散后才表现出来。

"The challenge is most people present when it's very late stage, and it's about managing symptoms as opposed to curing them. So the key thing that you can do is detect the disease early. And that's what we think the breathalyzer technology allows for...picking it up at that earliest stage when it's treatable."

他说:“挑战在于,大多数人到了癌症晚期才表现出来,那时候就是控制病症,而不是治疗病症。所以关键在于尽早发现疾病,这就是这种呼吸分析器能带来的—在可治疗的最早期阶段发现疾病。”

The testing of the Owlstone breathalyzer is currently limited to patients with suspected esophageal and stomach cancers.

欧尔斯通呼吸分析器的测试目前仅限于食道癌和胃癌的疑似患者。

Esophageal cancer is a leading cause of cancer deaths around the world. Most cases are reported in developing countries.

食道癌是全球癌症死亡的主要原因。大多数病例发生在发展中国家。

Esophageal cancer in its early stages usually has no signs. However, the chemical markers of the disease are present even in the earliest stage.

食道癌早期阶段没有任何迹象。然而即使在最早期阶段,这种疾病的化学标记物也存在。

Over the two-year trial, researchers will extend testing of the breathalyzer to include patients with other cancers.

在为期两年的试验中,研究人员将会把这种呼吸分析器的测试扩大到其它类型癌症的患者。

I’m Anna Matteo.

Words in This Story

biomarker – n. biological evidence of a process, event, or condition

allow – v. to permit (someone) to have or do something; to let (someone) go or come in or out

symptom – n. a change in the body or mind which shows that a disease is present

mask – n. a device covering part of the face, including the mouth

stabilize – v. to make or become unlikely to change suddenly or greatly

profile – n. records showing information about something

exhale – v. to breathe out.

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