10 Minute Saliva Test for Cancer has "Near -Perfect Accuracy

●      A 10-minute rapid and accurate saliva test for cancer could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

○      over 10 years of research led by oral cancer and saliva diagnostics researcher Prof. David Wong, of the School of Dentistry at UCLA

○      method called "liquid biopsy"

○      Prototype of the new test was described at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Washington DC.

■      detects circulating tumor DNA in bodily fluids such as saliva and blood

■      test looks for fragments of genetic material in a tiny drop of bodily fluid

■      more specifically the device uses electric field-induced release and measurement (EFIRM) to detect non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) biomarkers in saliva

■      The test works by detecting genetic mutations in a protein called epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)

●      The protein normally helps cells grow and divide, but some NSCLC cells have too much EGFR, which makes them grow faster, turning into cancers

○      team came up with the test after discovering that saliva contained fragments of the genetic messenger molecule RNA linked to cancer.

●      Early results from lung cancer patients suggest it has "near-perfect" accuracy

●      Lead scientist says less than one drop of saliva is needed to run the test

○      and would only take about 10 minutes

●      Why does this matter?

○      For cancer, early detection matters

○      The sooner you know about a cancer, the easier it can be to treat

●      Theoretically, this new liquid biopsy can be done at home, at the pharmacy or at a doctor’s office.

●      Trials in lung cancer patients in china will start this year

○      Hope the new test will be available in the UK within the next 10 years

●      Although currently only for lung cancer, this “liquid biopsy will eventually be used to diagnose a range of different cancers

●      this new cancer test is significant in that it promises rapid, less invasive identification of cancers

○      It would also help to track the disease progression during treatment more easily