Found a way to diagnose cancer in ten minutes

07 December, 2018, 04:46 | Author: Lillian Steele
  • Scientists develop 'holy grail' blood test that detects cancer in 10 minutes

The test however can detect only the presence of the cancer and not the site of the cancer, stage of the cancer or the type of the cancer.

Being that cancer is a very complicated disease and has different signatures, it's hard to identify just one that happens to be very distinct from the healthy cells but otherwise common to all cancers.

Medical researchers from Australia released a potential bombshell breakthrough in cancer research this week - outlining in a scientific journal how they have developed a cheap and simple blood test that can detect most if not all types of cancer within 10 minutes.

In newly developed "universal cancer test", the suspect DNA has been added to the water containing tiny gold nanoparticles.

The Guardian reported: "The test has a sensitivity of about 90%, meaning it would detect about 90 in 100 cases of cancer". This will serve as the initial test for the presence of cancer, and the doctors will conduct more focused studies.

Taking advantage of this, the researchers designed a test that uses gold nanoparticles.

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.

Now researchers have discovered that patterns of molecules attached to DNA, which control which genes are switched on and off, look different on cancer cells. The researchers dubbed this the cancer "methylscape", and they observed it in every type of breast cancer they studied, as well as in other cancer types, including prostate cancer, colorectal cancer and lymphoma.

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These instantly change color depending on whether the 3D nanostructures of cancer DNA are present.

Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and is responsible for an estimated 9.6 million deaths in 2018, according to estimates from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

To understand how the test works, Dr. Sina says to think of DNA as a Christmas tree, and the methyl groups on its surface as the ornaments on the tree. She said, "Our technique could be a screening tool to inform clinicians that a patient may have a cancer, but they would require subsequent tests with other techniques to identify the cancer type and stage".

After a series of experiments, the scientists arrived at the new test for cancer.

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

"So we were very excited about an easy way of catching these circulating free cancer DNA signatures in blood", he said.

Additionally, the research was supported by a National Breast Cancer Foundation grant to advance cancer diagnosis testing.

Dr Ged Brady, from the Cancer Research UK Manchester Institute, said: 'Further clinical studies are required to evaluate the full clinic potential of the method'.

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