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  1. #1
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    Cheap, fast universal test promises to revolutionize cancer detection

    A remarkable new discovery from researchers at the University of Queensland could revolutionize the way doctors diagnose all cancers. The landmark research has created a fast and cheap cancer-detecting test based on the discovery of a unique DNA nanostructure thought to be common across all types of cancer.

    Researchers around the world are working hard to develop better and more efficient ways to detect cancer at its very earliest stages. Plenty of promising work into identifying the genetic fingerprint of cancerous tumors has led to prospective diagnostic blood tests. However, finding one specific DNA biomarker that can point to all kinds of cancer has been elusive.

    The new Australian research focused on the distinct pattern of methyl molecules found in cancer DNA fragments. These methylation profiles have, in the past, proved to be promising targets for effective blood-based cancer diagnostic tools. The latest study revealed that, while there isn't a single universal methylation profile that signals all kinds of cancer, these cancerous DNA fragments do tend to fold into unique three-dimensional nano-structures when placed into liquid solutions.

    "This unique nano-scaled DNA signature appeared in every type of breast cancer we examined, and in other forms of cancer including prostate, colorectal and lymphoma," says Abu Sina, one of the researchers working on the project.

    It was then discovered that this unique cancerous DNA signature had an affinity towards gold particles, meaning a potential simple universal diagnostic test could be developed that can identify cancer cells in any type of human tissue, including blood.

    "We designed a simple test using gold nanoparticles that instantly change color to determine if the 3D nano-structures of cancer DNA are present," explains Matt Trau, another researcher working on the project.

    The test is only in the very earliest stages of development but initial trials using over 200 blood and tissue samples revealed a 90 percent accuracy.

    Additionally, the test can reportedly deliver its results in just five to 10 minutes.


    Of course, a big limitation is that the test can only identify whether a person generally has cancer, and not specifically what kind of cancer. Nevertheless, this broad diagnostic information, especially if developed into a cheap device, could prove profoundly useful to clinicians as an early detection tool.


    So far, the test has only been trialed using breast, prostate, bowel and lymphoma cancers, but the researchers are confident that this specific DNA nanostructure is likely to appear across all cancers. Broader tests are the next step for the research, to both confirm the results across other cancer types, and to understand how early the technique can detect cancer.

    "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," says Trau.

    The new study was published in the journal Nature Communications.

    https://newatlas.com/universal-cance...ructure/57518/



  2. #2
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    Cool.. good luck to the team in developing this through.

  3. #3
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    Of course in America it's basically a test to see if you are going to go bankrupt and/or die.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Of course in America it's basically a test to see if you are going to go bankrupt and/or die.
    Now, come on Harry, we are all gonna die. This just gives the Doc's a heads to develop a proper game plan to drain your bank account before you take your last breath.

  5. #5
    The Fool on the Hill
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    Now on a bit more optimistic note - 90% with a ten minute wait time. A fantastic tool, even if if misses a few.

  6. #6
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    There is a direct link between how early cancer is detected, and how survivable it is. A real early detection kit will save lives, beyond question.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    Now, come on Harry, we are all gonna die. This just gives the Doc's a heads to develop a proper game plan to drain your bank account before you take your last breath.
    Socialised medicine where I come from mate.

    And as Nidhogg has pointed out, early detection is usually easier and cheaper to treat, with much higher survival rates.

    Of course in Seppoland they'll charge $1000 for the test and $5000 for the subsequent CT scan, which will probably kill off the uninsured before they even get near treatment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    It was then discovered that this unique cancerous DNA signature had an affinity towards gold particles, meaning a potential simple universal diagnostic test could be developed that can identify cancer cells in any type of human tissue, including blood.
    They're clever buggers, aren't they? "Hey, lets see how these signatures react to gold...".
    Things like discovering penicillin were accidents, this sounds more like brilliance.



    Quote Originally Posted by nidhogg View Post
    A real early detection kit will save lives, beyond question.
    No doubt whatsoever. The next hurdle is avoiding the slew of tests after a positive to identify what sort of cancer. I imagine the range of tests would be quite extensive.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Of course in Seppoland they'll charge $1000 for the test and $5000 for the subsequent CT scan, which will probably kill off the uninsured before they even get near treatment.
    No, in the USA, they'll make the test dirt cheap. It's the followup testing and meds that'll cost a ton. They'll milk your bank account via co-pays and co-insurances. If you, or your family, are cashed up they'll tease you with expensive "experimental" medicines or treatments that, as they are "experimental" are not covered by insurance. But, "this expensive experimental treatment may well save you, or your loved one's life." And, of course, they are holding your or your loved one's life hostage.

    So... pay up or die - 'tis the American way.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by harrybarracuda View Post
    Socialised medicine where I come from mate.
    That's the only thing that works.

    America's headed there but the medico's and pharma companies are resisting "kickin' and screamin". Our USA medicare system will "eventually" be expanded to cover all, but, probably a few decades away.

    Right now we are spoon fed "horror" stories about socialized medicine. You know, you die while on a waiting list, you are treated by "medical technicians". Take two aspirin and go home. Treated with archaic (not latest state of the art) methods, equipment, etc.

    "Kickin' and screamin" - but, eventually socialized medicine it will be. Of course, it will not be called "socialized" - a key bad word in the USA today.

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    I think insurance companies are more resistant to socialised medicine than pharmaceutical companies.

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    Waiting for Pseud/Earl pop in and Inform us that cancer is already curable, but big pharma want to hide it so they can keep fleecing us with high priced placebos.

    OMG, I’m turning into FRT .....

  13. #13
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    Whatever at least the price of gold rose a few Yuan.

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