Australian researchers have announced the successful creation of a 10-minute cancer detection test that may eventually help identify mesothelioma victims faster, and help them more quickly get the treatment that they need. According to a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, scientists from the University of Queensland identified a unique DNA structure that is present in cancer cells when they are placed in water. The discovery of this structure has led to the researchers developing a test that determines whether this structure is present or not. So far it has accurately detected cancer cells on more than 200 tissue and blood samples with 90 percent accuracy much more quickly than previous tests have provided.
Not only does this test provide significant promise for those who are at risk for malignant mesothelioma, it also provides all cancer victims with a way to have their cancer identified faster, less expensively and less invasively than other tests. According to Matt Trau, a University of Queensland professor, “This could lead to the creation of inexpensive and portable detection devices that could eventually be used as a diagnostic tool, possibly with a mobile phone.”
Though the test has not yet been used on humans, whether diagnosed with mesothelioma or any other cancer, the tests that have been used on laboratory animals have included cancers such as breast cancer, bowel cancer, prostate cancer and lymphoma. The group that has created the test is confident that their results will be just as positive once they move on to cancer in human subjects. Trau, working with research partners Abu Sina and Laura Carrascosa, wrote that “researchers have long been looking for a commonality among cancers to develop a diagnostic tool that could apply across all types. Using … a high-resolution microscope, we saw that cancerous DNA fragments folded into three-dimensional structures in water. These were different to what we saw with normal tissue DNA in the water.”
Not only do the researchers hope to be able to quickly detect mesothelioma and other cancers with the test, but also to gauge whether treatments being used on already identified cancers are working.
For those who are at risk for malignant mesothelioma, the availability of a 10-minute test that can uncover the existence of the disease is one of the first steps in extending patient survival. For more information, contact the Patient Advocates at Mesothelioma.net today at 1-800-692-8608.