CNN – Researchers in Australia have developed a 10-minute test that can detect the presence of cancer cells anywhere in the human body, according to a newly published study.
The test was developed after researchers from the University of Queensland found that cancer forms a unique DNA structure when placed in water.
The test works by identifying the presence of that structure, a discovery which could help detect cancer in humans far earlier than current methods, according to the paper published in journal Nature Communications.
“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,” said Professor Matt Trau in a statement.
“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,” he added.
Scientists worldwide have been working on ways to identify cancer earlier, as early detection is known to increase the success rate of therapeutic treatment and surgery.
How it works
The 10-minute test developed in Australia is yet to be used on humans and large clinical trials are needed before it can be used on prospective patients.
So far the signs are positive.
Tests on more than 200 tissue and blood samples detected cancerous cells with 90% accuracy, the researchers said.