Scientists develop "smoke detector" cancer test

Published On: September 8, 2016 11:35 AM NPT By: Republica  | @RepublicaNepal

KATHMANDU, Sept 8: British Scientists are developing the test which can detect mutant cancer cells in the blood, before the cancer symptoms appear, The Sun reported.

Early diagnosis, making it easier for doctors to treat patients sooner, can tremendously increase cancer survival rates.

So far, the inexpensive and quick test has been carried out on patients with suspected cancer of Oesophagus. However, Scientists at Swansea University hope that it can work for other cancer types as well.

The test detects missing “sticky” proteins on the surface of red blood cells – a sign of mutation. Scientists count these to build early signs of cancer.

Researcher Professor Gareth Jenkins said, “A smoke detector does not detect the presence of fire in our homes but its by-product — smoke.

“This test detects cancer by detecting the ‘smoke’ — the mutated blood cells. The old adage of no smoke without fire also applies to ‘no cancer without mutation’. ”

The test was tried on 300 volunteers with highly encouraging results and scientists now plan larger-scale studies, the British Festival of Science in Swansea was told.

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