A test that uses gold nanoparticles to detect early-stage prostate cancer costs less than $1, returns results in minutes and is more accurate than standard PSA screening, pilot studies show.
A test that costs less than a $1 and yields results in minutes has been shown in newly published studies to be more sensitive and more exact than the current standard test for early-stage prostate cancer.
The simple test developed by University of Central Florida scientist Qun "Treen" Huo holds the promise of earlier detection of one of the deadliest cancers among men. It would also reduce the number of unnecessary and invasive biopsies stemming from the less precise PSA test that's now used. "It's fantastic," said Dr. Inoel Rivera, a urologic oncologist at Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, which collaborated with Huo on the recent pilot studies.
"It's a simple test. It's much better than the test we have right now, which is the PSA, and it's cost-effective." When a cancerous tumor begins to develop, the body mobilizes to produce antibodies. Huo's test detects that immune response using gold nanoparticles about 10,000 times smaller than a freckle. When a few drops of blood serum from a finger prick are mixed with the gold nanoparticles, certain cancer biomarkers cling to the surface of the tiny particles, increasing their size and causing them to clump together.
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