Universal Cancer Biomarker Discovered That Detects Cancer In 10 Mins

Universal Cancer Biomarker Discovered That Detects Cancer In 10 Mins

A single test to diagnose if one is suffering from Cancer. This has been made possible by researchers from the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN). The researchers have identified a unique DNA Epigenetic pattern that appears to be common in all types of cancer. The test works on circulating free DNA fragments that can be easily obtained in affected persons body fluids. Via this simple diagnostic test results can be obtained in just 10 minutes and is visible to naked eyes in the form of a color change or an electrochemical signal.

This groundbreaking discovery was led by Matt Trau, Ph.D., professor of chemistry at the University of Queensland and deputy director and co-founder of AIBN.

A comparison was made between the epigenetic patterns on the genomes of cancer cells and healthy cells, specifically looking for the presence of methyl groups in the DNA. These methyl groups play an important role in the cell function as they act as signals that control which of the several genes should be turned on & off at a specific time, based on the requirement.

It was noticed that healthy cells showed the presence of methyl group all over the genome, whereas in cancer cells these areas were devoid of

the methyl groups, except for dense clusters of methyl groups spotted at very specific locations.

These unique DNA signatures are termed “methylscape” by the researchers and it appeared in every type of breast cancer, prostate cancer, colorectal cancer, and lymphoma that were examined. Every cancerous cell examined by the scientists has this highly predictable methylscape marker pattern.

The results of the result are published in a paper titled “Epigenetically reprogrammed methylation landscape drives the DNA self-assembly and serves as a universal cancer biomarker,” in the journal Nature Communications.

In simple terms upon placing cancerous cells DNA fragments with circular motions in the water, it folded into 3D shapes that differ completely to that of healthy cells. The 3D folds were of methyl groups that were found cluttered at a certain location only in tumor cells. These clustered methyl groups were then separated by sticking them to bare gold surfaces.

This revolutionary one-step, highly sensitive, selective electrochemical or colorimetric cancer diagnosis test was designed by exploiting the difference in the methylscape present in the healthy and tumor cells. As per reports till now this test has been performed on 200 samples across different types of tumor & healthy cells from humans, out of which the accuracy of cancer detection is as high as 90%.

The researchers are currently in talks with University of Queensland’s commercialization company, UniQuest, to develop and license the technology. This revolutionary discovery can be a game-changer in the field of cancer diagnostics. The team acknowledged that the test still needs improvisations and its accuracy will be 100% incoming time.

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