May 23--UC Irvine chemists have found a way to detect prostate cancer that's as
inexpensive and easy as a pregnancy test, the university announced this week.
By identifying markers for the disease in urine, the method can detect prostate
cancer's presence much earlier, more accurately and more cheaply than current
tests, according to a press release from UCI.
"Our goal is a device the size of a home pregnancy test priced around $10. You
would buy it at the drugstore or the grocery store and test yourself," said
Reginald Penner, UCI chancellor's professor of chemistry and the study's
corresponding author. "We're on the verge of a very important breakthrough in a
new era of personal health management."
As part of a process that spanned more than a decade, UCI researchers developed
a sensor that wrapped nanoscale protein receptors around a virus, boosting their
sensitivity to signals from cancer molecules.
"We add a high concentration of the viruses, and they get trapped directly in
the electrode. We're jamming the signal with the cancer marker, and it stays on
louder than all the other material," said lead author Kritika Mohan, a UCI
graduate student. "To our surprise, it works really well in the ingredients that
make up urine."
Next up is human clinical trials so the scientists can bring the test to market
with a commercial partner they've already selected.
-- Jeremiah Dobruck
(c)2013 the Daily Pilot (Costa Mesa, Calif.)
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