Researchers develop quick, easy cancer detection test

Ben Davidson
December 7, 2018

As reported by the portal "Znayu" team of microbiologists from the University of John Hopkins have developed a test that detects the presence of chlamydia in 30 minutes.

"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", Abu Sina, a researcher at the Institute, said in a statement.

Australian scientists have recently unveiled that they have developed a simple 10-minute blood test that can diagnose cancer anywhere in the human body. 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. He said that they initially believed that each cancer would need a separate test for detection. A less invasive test that has the potential to spot cancer earlier could transform how patients are screened for the disease.

The researchers have tested their technology on about 200 samples from cancer patients and healthy people, finding that the test was up to 90 percent accurate in detecting cancer.

The researchers discovered that the cancer cells with the sparse methyl groups on their DNA bind easily with gold surfaces.

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"In theory this could become a point of testing analysis, meaning you go to a local lab or go to the doctor and they can do a test in their office one day and perhaps tell you whether there is some kind of a cancer developing somewhere", he says. Though made of gold, the particles turn the water pink.

So the researchers focused on DNA that circulates in the bloodstream after cancer cells die and release their cargo.

"This led to the creation of cheap and portable detection devices that could eventually be used as a diagnostic tool, possibly with a mobile phone", said Trau. When the DNA from cancers cells was added, the water retains its color. Mr Eccles of Otago University suggested thinking of DNA as beads on a string when visualising how the test works.

Carrascosa said the sensitivity of the test is considerably enough in detecting very low levels of cancer DNA in the sample. Survival rate for most cancers stagnates at 20% because a majority of the patients come when the disease is already in the advanced, or III and IV, stages.

"We designed a simple test using gold nanoparticles that instantly change colour to determine if the 3D nanostructures of cancer DNA are present", said Matt Trau, a professor at the University of Queensland. Further clinical studies are needed to assess the full clinical potential.

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