Researchers in Australia have developed a 10-minute test that can detect the presence of cancer cells anywhere in the human body, according to a newly published study.
The test was developed after researchers from the University of Queensland found that cancer forms a unique DNA structure when placed in water.
The test works by identifying the presence of that structure, a discovery that could help detect cancer in humans far earlier than current methods, according to the paper published in journal Nature Communications.
“Discovering that cancerous DNA molecules formed entirely different 3D nanostructures from normal circulating DNA was a breakthrough that has enabled an entirely new approach to detect cancer non-invasively in any tissue type including blood,” Professor Matt Trau said in a statement.
“This led to the creation of inexpensive and portable detection devices that could eventually be used as a diagnostic tool, possibly with a mobile phone,” he added.
Co-researcher Abu Sina said the findings represented a “significant discovery” that could be a “game changer” for cancer detection.
“Cancer is a complicated disease, [and currently] every type has a different testing and screening system. In most cases, there is no general test to test their status.
“Now, people only go [to get checked out] if they have symptoms. We want [cancer screening] to be part of a regular checkup.”