Cancer being one of the leading diseases of our century is affecting societies all over the world. In 2018 in the U.S. alone, 1,735,350 new cases were estimated. Thus why scientists are looking for new, less invasive diagnostic means continuously.
Earlier this year, researchers from John Hopkin’s University came up with a blood test called CancerSEEK, which could detect up to eight common cancer types. However, it couldn’t be used since further research was required.
Most recently, a team of Australian researchers from the University of Queensland, came up with a 10-minute, non-invasive, inexpensive cancer test embedded in a portable device which could probably be accessed via a mobile phone too.
To understand the way it works, we first have to mention that cancer cells alter the DNA of healthy cells. These “altered” cancer parts, when placed in water or a solution as such, fold in a 3D structure, something that healthy cells don’t do. Hence how the test differentiates between the two; the patient’s cancerous DNA cells, after being placed in a water solution with gold nanoparticles, cling to them and create that 3D structure, altering the color of the solution. The accuracy of the test is specifically high and very promising since within 200 tissue and blood samples, 90% of it was accurately detected.
As it appears, further clinical trials need to be done prior to the actual application of the test,but it does seem to be very promising. In addition, the fact that researchers are using a solution medium for the cancer detection implies that different bodily fluids can be used to detect different types and stages of cancer.
Although just breast, prostate, bowel cancer and lymphoma are detectable so far, trials for the detection of more types are on the way!! So keep your fingers crossed and let science do the work !