Scientists looking at new cancer detection technique

New way to diagnose cancer

BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) - Australian scientists say it could be the “holy grail” when it comes to diagnosing cancer.

“For lack of a better term, I would say it’s a really cool study,” said Dr. Michael Birrer, director of the O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center at UAB.

That study looks at a way to diagnose cancer in just minutes.

"It’s right out of Star Trek. And I think that’s what attracts everybody and gets everybody excited about this,” said Birrer.

Researchers at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology have discovered that certain nanoparticles change colors if Cancer DNA is present.

“The idea of being able in your clinic, take a blood sample, and be able to say look there is something we need to worry about is very attractive,” said Birrer.

However, like all good science there are challenges.

If the cancer could be caught early by this method, it could improve survival rates.

That’s something Birrer hopes researchers discover in future testing.

“We don’t know how much tumor you need to see this in the blood. If it means you need a lot of tumor, you really haven’t helped the patient much,” he added.

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