“This is something that works, and therefore must be made available to everyone immediately.” This was the enthusiastic response by Vito Antonio Delvino, director general of the “Giovanni Paolo II” Cancer Institute of Bari, to the establishment of a research center dedicated to breath analysis, and to the new device, MISTRAL, developed by Predict as part of its applied research in the “Inside the Breath” technological cluster.
An initiative of the Puglia Region, the center is the first public structure in Europe to concentrate its activities around the analysis of the metabolites present in the breath, with the aim of diagnosing various cancers and other serious pathologies. A result that, thanks to multidisciplinary research by a fruitful public/private collaboration, has been centered around MISTRAL with regard to the early diagnosis of colorectal cancer.
The smart and compact piece of equipment allows for the very early diagnosis of an oncological pathology by analyzing the patient’s breath, collected simply by blowing inside a special mouthpiece. Not science fiction but something absolutely concrete: a diagnosis of a serious illness exclusively through the analysis of human breath. It is for this reason that the Regional Strategic Agency for Health and Social (AReSS Puglia), together with the University of Bari Aldo Moro and the “Giovanni Paolo II” (IRCCS) Cancer Institute have founded the Regional Center of Breath Analysis.
“The Center – says Gianluigi De Gennaro (Professor at the Department of Biology, University of Bari) – was developed on the solid foundations of the MISTRAL prototype that is already ready for market testing. However – he explains – the Center for Breath Analysis will take a “secular” approach to the analysis methodology and will be open to implement any of all the methods available in the literature”.
The only other two European centers on breath analysis (one in Cambridge, the other in Tel Aviv) are private and are interested in developing the diagnostic technology that they themselves have patented.A highly experimental center, in short, that “has been founded within a territory – recalled Gianmarco Surico, operational coordinator of the Oncological Network of Puglia – which has one of the highest incidences of tumors in Italy”.
Giovanni Gorgoni, general director of ARESS Puglia, fought to include an ad hoc expense item in the Economic and Financial Document of the Sanità Pugliese (DIEF). “The Center – explained Dr Gorgoni – will be governed by a board made up of the legal representatives of the three institutions, and by a technical committee, with two members from each of the three bodies “
Everyone’s willing to move speedily.
Thanks to the studies on breathomics by Prof De Gennaro and Prof Donato Altomare, and to the applied public-private research that led to the production of MISTRAL, Puglia is at the forefront of this fascinating branch of oncology diagnosis. From the “loyal, profound and intense collaboration” between the institutions (University of Bari, Puglia Region and the Cancer Institute) and the private companies of the technological cluster, an extraordinary scientific potential emerges, giving hope to an extremely significant pool of patients.
On the cover: Prof. De Gennaro