Australian researchers from the University of Queensland said they had designed a quick test to find out whether a person had cancer.
From a simple blood test, it would be possible to know in ten minutes if we are interested, announced the group of researchers in the journal Nature Communications. The test will detect the patient's cancer blood DNA from a "universal cancer biomarker" found in most forms of this disease.
Unlike other commonly used methods, such as biopsy, an invasive and expensive technique, the one used by Australian researchers is simple and fast. The test is based on the presence or absence of a methyl group on the DNA of a cell: this technique allows to identify the difference between healthy and unhealthy cells.
In fact, cancer cells and normal cells react differently to water added to gold nanoparticles, according to scientists. Therefore, when malignant cells are discovered, the test liquid changes color. The diseased cells attach themselves to gold and the mixture retains its original pink color, unlike healthy cells, which bind differently to the gold nanoparticles and transform the liquid into blue.
identification of 90 out of 100 cases of cancer
"These analyzes are fast, ie the analysis time is ten minutes or less and require the final preparation of the sample and a small voice on the DNA," explains the researchers. According to the work carried out, the test allows to identify 90 cancer cases. out of 100. On the other hand, it does not allow to know which organ is affected by the disease.
In The Guardian, the researchers specify that the test must be followed by other tests, using other methods, to "identify the type of cancer and what is its stage".
With nearly 400,000 new cancer cases identified each year in metropolitan France, this technique could revolutionize the diagnosis and thus improve care.