A simple 10-minute test with a 90 percent success rate can help you identify whether you have cancer or not.
A newly developed cancer-detection approach can uncover traces of the disease in a patient's bloodstream.
The low-cost and simple test utilizes a color-changing fluid to show the presence of malignant cells anywhere in the body and gives results in just 10 minutes, reports a new study. The findings of the study are published in the journal Nature Communications.
The Queensland team's discovery created the test that cancer DNA and normal DNA stick to metal surfaces in different ways. This enabled them to develop a test that differentiates between healthy cells and cancerous ones, even from the tiny fragments of DNA that find their way into the bloodstream.
The DNA sample was added to water containing gold nanoparticles. DNA from the cancer cells sticks to the nanoparticles, making the water's color stay pink. DNA from healthy cells binds to the particles differently and turns the water blue.
The research team has run the test on 200 human cancer samples and healthy DNA with 90 percent accuracy.
So far, the test has only been used to identify breast, bowel, prostate and lymphoma cancers, but the research team is confident that the findings can also be replicated with other types of the disease.
"We certainly don't know yet whether it's the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics, 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," said Trau.
The test still needs to be used on humans, and large clinical trials are required before it can be implemented on prospective patients.