Medicine

One Test to Diagnose Them All — Universal Cancer Test

One Test to Diagnose Them All — Universal Cancer Test

The test, which has been performed with 90% accuracy on 200 samples of different types of cancers and healthy cells, is now at experimental stage and results require further validation through clinical trials before it can be made commercially available.

Abu Sina, an AIBN researcher, stated, "Because cancer is an extremely complicated and variable disease, it has been hard to find a simple signature common to all cancers, yet distinct from healthy cells".

In an approach that is still under development colour changing fluid reveals presence of malignant cells anywhere in the body, providing results in less than 10 minutes, in a manner that draws on new radical approaches to cancer detection that may make routine screening for cancer a more simple procedure for doctors.

Laura Carrascosa, a researcher at the University of Queensland in Australia, said the advantage of the test is that it's cheap and simple and it can be adopted in clinics easily. Indeed, this test is so convenient and affordable that in the not-too-distant future we could all be carrying around our own personal cancer detector - on our cell phones.

Therefore, doctors added gold nanoparticles in a special solution, which turns from a reddish color to blue if you discovered the healthy cells, but remains the same color in the presence of cancer cells. Professor Trau said that the next step would be to start clinical trials to hone the test.

The blood test detected cancer with 90 percent accuracy in the University of Queensland's tests of different human cancers and healthy cells and can be done in only 10 minutes.

Professor Matt Trau Dr. Abu Sina and Doctor Laura Carrascosa
Professor Matt Trau Dr. Abu Sina and Doctor Laura Carrascosa

It involves taking blood sample of the patient and examining the pattern of molecules called methyl groups that decorate its DNA. They said that the DNA from different types of cancers contain signatures which could act as cancer markers.

"On normal cells, these [beads] are evenly distributed, but in cancer cells they're actually bunched up together", he said.

Scientists in Australia have uncovered an low-priced test of more than 10-minute duration, which can detect traces of cancer in the bloodstream. These complex structures depending upon the epigenetic pattern would then stick to gold nanoparticles used for the test.

The researchers' work was supported by a grant from the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

The test is offering new hope that all types of the disease can be spotted early when treatment is the most effective, the newspaper said.

"We certainly don't know yet whether it's the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics, but it looks really interesting", he concluded.

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