Australian researchers develop a 10-minute test for cancer detection

Researchers from the University of Queensland (UQ) have reportedly developed a 10-minute test for detecting presence of cancer cells in the person’s body, a breakthrough that could led to a new approach for fighting cancer globally.

Sources close to the research state that the test uses a color-changing fluid to detect presence of cancer cells throughout the body and provide results under 10 minutes. The prospect for quick diagnosis could help detect and treat cancer in its early stage, potentially helping millions of people across the world.

According to The Strait Times, Prof. Matt Trau, Co-Researcher, University of Queensland, Australia, said that the test could lead to the development of a portable and affordable cancer detection device that could be operated using a mobile phone. He said that the test’s compatibility over different cancer types is currently unknown; however, the finding could lead to an incredibly simple and universal cancer test which won’t require complicated lab-based equipment like DNA sequencing.

Incidentally, the test has not yet been used on humans as large medical trials are needed before it can be tested on potential patients.

Commenting on the breakthrough, Dr. Abu Sina, Researcher, UQ, said that their research team has registered a nano-scaled DNA signature that appeared on different types of breast cancer when tested as well as in other forms of cancer including colorectal, prostate, and lymphoma. The patterns and levels of small molecules called methyl groups, which play a key role in controlling genes and enhancing DNA are significantly altered by cancer cells, claims Dr. Sina.

Reportedly, the Australian researchers have run tests on around 200 healthy DNA and human cancer samples, successfully obtaining 90% accuracy. So far, the test has been used to detect only prostate, breast, lymphoma and bowel cancers, but researchers are confident that the results can be simulated with other types of the disease as well.