This simple and cheap urine test is enough to find out whether a person is suffering from cancer, revealed a team of researchers, led by Indian-American Sangeeta Bhatia, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
This test very much works like a pregnancy test and within minutes a person can gets the results. He does not need to go through expensive and complicated mammogram and colonoscopy.
It is a simple process of injecting nanoparticles in the body of the patient. These particles combine with the proteins present in tumour and this step produces biomarkers which can be found by a urine test taken on paper strips.
The report was published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A group of mice was used for the test and within minutes the technique helped in diagnosing tumours and blood clots in them.
This process has been a big boon in detecting infectious diseases. And now the new method will go a long way in finding out about non-communicable diseases.
"For the developing world, we thought it would be exciting to adapt it instead to a paper test that could be performed on unprocessed samples in a rural setting, without the need for any specialized equipment. The simple readout could even be transmitted to a remote caregiver by a picture on a mobile phone," Bhatia said.
The technology will help in early detection of cancer in underdeveloped countries, thus proving to be a big step in saving many lives lost to cancer.