Australian researchers believe they have developed a test that can diagnose whether you have cancer in about 10 minutes.
Scientists at the University of Queensland say they’ve discovered a nano DNA signature that looks like it is common to all cancers. The test works like this: Blood is mixed with a solution that contains gold nanoparticles that change color if the nanostructures of cancer DNA are present.
Matt Trau, a professor at the University of Queensland and one of the study’s co-authors, believes the test would be inexpensive and portable, with the possibility of using it with a smart phone.
“We certainly don’t know yet whether it’s the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics,” Trau said in a statement, “but it looks really interesting as an incredibly simple universal marker of cancer, and as an accessible and inexpensive technology that doesn’t require complicated lab-based equipment like DNA sequencing.”
The test appears to be less intrusive than other current methods of diagnosing cancer, including:
• Biopsy and cytology tests (testing of tissue or body fluids)
• Endoscopy procedures (using a tube-like instrument to get into the body for an internal view)
• Radiology imaging tests (including CT scans, mammograms, MRIs, nuclear medicine scans, ultrasound and X-rays)
The tests were found to be 90 percent accurate, but experts, however, said to be cautious about any breakthrough claims.
“I have often said that anytime you hear about a ‘simple cancer test,’ run for the hills because there’s no such thing,” publisher Gary Schwitzer wrote in an HealthNewsReview.org article. “This researcher may be referring to the technology, but the application of that technology — the leap from lab to bedside — brings with it many levels of complexity.”
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