Break­through on cancer test a very big deal

Re­searchers show­ing prom­ise on non-in­va­sive cancer screen­ing

Yuma Sun - - OPINION -

Sci­en­tists in Aus­tralia have made a break­through in cancer di­ag­nos­ing that can only be de­scribed as game-chang­ing.

Ac­cord­ing to a re­port on CNN, the re­searchers de­vel­oped a 10-minute test that can de­tect the pres­ence of cancer cells any­where in the hu­man body. “The test was de­vel­oped af­ter re­searchers from the Univer­sity of Queens­land found that cancer forms a unique DNA struc­ture when placed in water,” CNN re­ports.

That unique struc­ture es­sen­tially is a marker iden­ti­fy­ing can­cer­ous cells from nor­mal, healthy cells, and will al­low doc­tors to “de­tect cancer non­in­va­sively in any tis­sue type in­clud­ing blood,” CNN re­ports.

This 10-minute test break­through is still in pre­lim­i­nary stages, but imag­ine the pos­si­bil­i­ties.

Cancer is a bru­tal dis­ease, and of­ten­times, the process to its di­ag­no­sis is in­va­sive, in­volv­ing sur­gi­cal biop­sies, blood tests, imag­ing tests such as x-rays or ul­tra­sound, bone scans or en­do­scopies. Th­ese tests can be un­com­fort­able and some­times painful.

And once the test is done, there is still a dread­ful wait­ing pe­riod that can take days be­fore the test’s re­sults are in.

This new break­through takes all of those no­tions and throws them out the win­dow.

In­stead, the test could po­ten­tially de­tect cancer in any tis­sue type in a non-in­va­sive man­ner, and give re­sults back in 10 min­utes.

It’s an as­tound­ing de­vel­op­ment. Imag­ine walk­ing into the test, and hav­ing an an­swer in min­utes. It’s sim­ply game-chang­ing.

What it doesn’t change is the in­va­sive­ness of the treat­ments re­quired to fight the cancer. And yet, in some ways, this test has the po­ten­tial to im­prove that process as well. This test could lead to peo­ple be­ing di­ag­nosed ear­lier. And that has its own set of ben­e­fits, in­clud­ing a higher success rate of treat­ment.

CNN notes that the 10-minute test is still in the early stages of de­vel­op­ment, and clin­i­cal tri­als are needed. But so far, all indi­ca­tions are pos­i­tive on this.

If one could have a Christ­mas wish, a suc­cess­ful test­ing of a sys­tem such as this would be high on the list!

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