Ablood test can detect cancer within just 10 minutes, scientists have found, raising hopes that hard-to-spot diseases could be picked up early when treatment is most effective.
Currently doctors use symptoms and a raft of tests and biopsies to determine if cancer is present which can sometimes take months.
The new method from the University of Queensland looks for differences in the genetic code of cancerous and healthy cells.
The team found that the DNA of cancer cells sticks strongly to nanoparticles of gold giving a quick indication whether disease is present or not to the naked eye.
And because the same changes occur in all cancerous cells, the test should work on all cancer types, the team believes.
Writing in the journal Nature Communications Dr Matt Trau, Professor of Chemistry, said: “Our approach enabled non-invasive cancer detection, i.e a blood test, in 10 min from plasma derived DNA samples with excellent specificity.
“We believe that this simple approach would potentially be a better alternative to the current techniques for cancer detection.”