AN artificial electronic 'nose that uses nanomaterials to recognize patterns of molecules in exhaled breath was able to distinguish between patients with head and neck or lung cancer and healthy controls, according to a study by researchers in Israel published by the British Journal of Cancer this week. The Nanoscale Artificial Nose (NA-NOSE) was developed by senior author of the study, Professor H Haick, and his group at Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology in Haifa. They hope the results of their study will lead to the development of a fast, reliable and cost-effective tool for the differential diagnosis of head and neck cancer, and possibly also a screening tool, based on the artificial nose. Head and neck cancer is a group of cancers that affect the lip, the mouth, the nasal cavity, sinuses, salivary glands, pharynx and larynx. It is the eighth most common cancer in the world, and in the US for example, it accounts for between 3 and 5% of all cancers. MNT