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Pee on a Stick to Detect Cancer?

Researchers at MIT are working hard to make it a reality: a device similar to at-home urine pregnancy tests that will tell you if you have cancer.  The researchers aren’t pressing their time to release the strips because of a desire to turn a quick profit; instead they hope to get the invention into clinical trials faster so that it can soon be used in less developed regions where traditional testing is too costly.

Technology Based on Detecting Proteins Created by Tumors

This technology is based on the use of synthetic biomarkers that will interact with proteins commonly created by cancerous tumors.  Specifically, the test uses a single injection of nanoparticles that find diseased tissue and produce a biomarker in the urine if cancer is present.  So far, the test has been successful in detecting colon cancer in mice and blood clots.  The researchers recently won a grant from MIT’s Deshpande Center for Technological Innovation to develop a business plan to market their product.

Cancer Rates in Developing Countries Soar in Recent Years

Within recent years, cancer rates in developing countries have soared with cancer cases in these areas accounting for 70% of all cancer across the world.  While we possess several methods of detecting common cancers such as mammography and colonoscopy, these procedures are cost prohibitive in many developing countries where medical infrastructure is lacking.  The new urine strips to detect cancer could help to prevent deaths from cancer with early detection.  Similar strips have already been used successfully to detect infectious diseases.

One Comment

  1. Gravatar for Jude Armstrong

    Its not only developed country's that could benefit from this new technology. We all have our poor.

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