About My Health Careers Internship MedBlogs Contact us
Medindia LOGIN REGISTER
Advertisement

New Cheap Tool Developed for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

by Dr. Enozia Vakil on March 1, 2013 at 2:09 PM
Font : A-A+

 New Cheap Tool Developed for Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

US teenager Jack Andraka developed a new easy way to detect cancer in an organ before it progresses to an advanced stage.

"Through the Internet, anything is possible," Andraka said while telling the story of his screening breakthrough at a prestigious TED Conference in Southern California on Wednesday.

Advertisement

"There is so much more to it than posting duck-face pictures of yourself online," he continued, sucking in his cheeks and pushing out his lips to playfully underscore his point.

"If a 15-year-old who didn't know what a pancreas was could figure out a way to detect pancreatic cancer, imagine what you could do."

Andraka, who turned 16 in January, recounted how three years ago he began scouring the Internet for information about pancreatic cancer after it killed a cherished family friend.
Advertisement

He told of being shocked to learn that the cancer was typically found too late to save people. On top of that, the test used to screen for the illness was 60 years old, he said.

"That is older than my dad," Andraka quipped. "More important, it is expensive, inaccurate, and your doctor would have to be ridiculously suspicious that you had the cancer to give you this test."

He figured what was needed was a test that was inexpensive, fast, simple and sensitive.

"Undeterred due to my teenage optimism, I went online to a teenager's two best friends: Google and Wikipedia," Andraka said.

What he found was there were thousands of proteins that could be detected in the blood of people with pancreatic cancer, and he hunted for one that could serve as an early flag for the illness.

"Finally, on the 4,000th try when I am losing my sanity, I found the protein," Andraka said.

The revelation came in what he described as an unlikely place, a high school biology class he referred to as an "absolute stifler of innovation."

"I was sneakily reading this nanotubes article under my desk while we were supposed to be paying attention to antibodies," Andraka recalled.

"Suddenly it hit me that I could combine what I was reading with what I was supposed to be thinking about."

He described a recipe for making paper sensors to detect the protein - mesothelin - in blood that is "about as simple as making chocolate chip cookies, which I love."

The test costs three cents, takes minutes, and appears to be 100 percent accurate, according to his TED Talk.

Andraka said he sent out 200 requests to scientists for lab space to continue his work, only to be rejected by all but Johns Hopkins University where he was fiercely grilled before being taken in.

He commenced to fix holes he discovered in his "once brilliant procedure" and went on to be awarded the 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair grand prize.

Andraka described his approach as having the potential to be tailored to screen for other forms of cancer as well as heart disease or HIV/AIDS.

He told of currently working on "something the size of a cube of sugar" that could "look through your skin" and study blood or signs of almost any disease. The cost? An estimated five dollars.

Source: AFP
Advertisement

Advertisement
News A-Z
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
Advertisement
News Category
What's New on Medindia
Turmeric: Magic Ingredient to Keep you Healthy in Winter
Top 7 Benefits of Good Oral Hygiene
Healthy and Safer Thanksgiving 2021
View all

Medindia Newsletters Subscribe to our Free Newsletters!
Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policy.

More News on:
Pancreatic Cancer Cancer and Homeopathy Cancer Facts Cancer Tattoos A Body Art Pancreatitis Pancreas Transplantation 

Recommended Reading
FOLFIRINOX- Drug Combination Prolongs Survival in Pancreatic Cancer Patients
A new drug chemotherapy combination of FOLFIRINOX may boost survival of pancreatic cancer ......
Pancreatic Cancer
Pancreatic cancer often involves its exocrine part. It grows aggressively, and often detected late. ...
Fatty Foods Speed Up Pancreatic Cancer
In a recent study UCLA scientists claim that a fatty diet can speed up the onset of pancreatic ......
Risk of Pancreatic Cancer Linked With Low Levels of Adiponectin
A new study published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute reveals that the risk of ......
Pancreas Transplantation
Pancreas transplant is a surgical procedure involving the replacement of a dysfunctional pancreas in...
Pancreatitis
Pancreatitis or inflammation of the pancreas may show up as acute pancreatitis or chronic pain. Alco...
Tattoos A Body Art
Tattoos are a rage among college students who sport it for the ‘cool dude’ or ‘cool babe’ look...

Disclaimer - All information and content on this site are for information and educational purposes only. The information should not be used for either diagnosis or treatment or both for any health related problem or disease. Always seek the advice of a qualified physician for medical diagnosis and treatment. Full Disclaimer

© All Rights Reserved 1997 - 2021

This site uses cookies to deliver our services. By using our site, you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Cookie Policy, Privacy Policy, and our Terms of Use