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Testing for cancer may become easier according to research

Tumor testing

A team of researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a test that could potentially make it simpler and more affordable for the general public to detect some cancers at an earlier stage. It could potentially save the public a lot of money and could help detect a tumour quicker. 

The test for this will work along the lines of a pregnancy test. The person will urinate on a paper strip that is lined with antibodies that can detect the marker fragments. If the fragments are present, the paper displays a line indicating the presence of cancer tissue in the body. The entire process will take one hour in total.

Speaking about this was Andrew Warren who was one of the lead researchers on the project. He said “Something I think that’s really shocking is the prevalence of cancer and cardiovascular disease in both the developed world and the developing world. Diagnostics are really a great way to help a lot of people as quickly as possible.”

Differing from HIV and tuberculosis, signals from tumour proteins are difficult to detect. In order to solve this problem the researchers created nano-scale biomarkers that can be injected into the bloodstream.

The idea stems from the viewpoint of making testing more affordable to people in poorer nations and is something that Lina Nilsson, an engineer at the University of California has welcomed but feels that too many are unable to avail of adequate treatment.

Ms. Nilsson said “There’s something very unfair and troubling if we’re able to tell people that they might have serious diseases and there’s nothing that can be done about that. If we’re pushing out diagnostics, then the ability to treat should also be at the same places.”


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