Researchers from the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN) have developed a test that could be used to detect all cancers.
Scientists have long been looking for a common diagnostic tool that could apply across all types of cancers
Discovery of this test to detect multiple cancers could revolutionize the way cancer is diagnosed in its early stages. A test that detects one type of cancer doesn’t work on another since each cancer type has unique genetic and other features.
Nearly every cell in a human body has the same DNA, but cancer causes changes in DNA, which controls the way cells function.
Taking a different tack, researchers looked for patterns of molecules called methyl groups, which decorate the DNA and control which genes are switched on and off at any given time. They found that the genome of a cancer cell is essentially barren except for intense clusters of methyl groups at very specific locations.
The researchers identified a unique DNA signature which they dubbed the cancer “methylscape”, for methylation landscape that appears to be common in all types of cancer.
The test developed by them can identify the cancerous DNA in less than ten minute
The test has been performed on more than 200 samples across different types of tumor & healthy cells in humans, with cancer detection accuracy as high as 90%.