Cancer is among the deadliest diseases worldwide, second only to cardiovascular disease. According to estimates provided by the National Cancer Institute in the United States, the prognosis for 2018 was as follows: 1,735,350 new cancer diagnoses and 609,640 cancer deaths. These are harrowing statistics!
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Researchers all over the world continue to develop better treatments and diagnostic tools, and there are many ongoing studies that will eventually change the way cancer is treated. Early detection is also important, and researchers from Australia came up with a promising test to diagnose the disease.
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A ten-minute test to detect cancer?
A team at the University of Queensland created a 10-minute test that can detect cancer cells growing anywhere in the body. Results of the study were published on December 4 in the journal Nature Communications.
The test was created after researchers discovered that cancer cells form a unique DNA structure when placed in water.
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A statement by Professor Matt Trau on the university’s website says:
Discovering that cancerous DNA molecules formed entirely different 3D nanostructures from normal circulating DNA was a breakthrough that has enabled an entirely new approach to detect cancer non-invasively in any tissue type including blood.
This led to the creation of inexpensive and portable detection devices that could eventually be used as a diagnostic tool, possibly with a mobile phone.
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Although no large clinical trials of the test have been carried out yet, there’s reason to believe they will yield promising results. Over 200 tissue and blood samples were used in the study, and the test was 90% accurate. Samples of cancerous cells included breast, prostate, and colon cancers and lymphoma.
In the test, gold particles attached to DNA affected by cancer and yielded specific colors.
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Researchers continue to work on improving the test to take it to the next level of trials. They are also working to make it as non-invasive as possible.
We hope the results of their work will be applicable and will be another winning battle in the war against cancer.
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