GROUNDBREAKING

Universal Cancer Test Can Detect Malignant Cells in Less Than 10 Minutes

Scientists at Australia’s University of Queensland have reportedly developed a universal cancer test that could provide results to patients in less than 10 minutes, without the pain, cost, and time of a biopsy. “A major advantage of this technique is that it is very cheap and extremely simple to do, so it could be adopted in the clinic quite easily,” Laura Carrascosa, a researcher at the University of Queensland, told The Guardian. The test uses a fluid that changes color when it comes across malignant cells throughout the body. The test, published in Nature, has about a 90 percent sensitivity, which means that it’s accurate in detecting cancer in about 90 percent of cases, with a 10 percent false positive rate. The test is a first step in figuring out cancer diagnoses and would require doctors to follow up with patients with additional testing to identify not only whether the cells were indeed malignant and cancerous, but also what type of cancer they are. Scientists are now working towards clinical trials.