About 8.8 million human deaths, or 15.7 per cent of all deaths in the world, are caused by cancer. Chinese scientists have developed a new test that can detect different kinds of cancers using just one drop of blood.
Researchers at Tsinghua University’s School of Life Sciences developed the reagent (mixture) test kit of Hsp90a protein for clinical use.
The kit was tested in clinical experiments that involved 2,347 patients at eight hospitals in China.
According to their report, this is the first clinical trial to have ever been performed to test if this particular protein can be used to detect lung cancer and it succeeded.
Previously, scientists had identified a kind of heat shock proteins (HSP), named Hsp90a, which exists in human bodies and can be used as a cancer biomarker.
For the development of the test, lead researcher Luo Yongzhang along with his team produced an artificial Hsp90a protein that gains structural stability by regrouping proteins. This means they are able to “create” the protein, in any quantity and at any time they wish to.
The kit has now been certified to enter the Chinese and European markets, 24 years after Hsp90a protein was discovered.
A simple blood test for cancer would be far less invasive than scopes or biopsies that remove tissue. The discovery and availability of this test can make the diagnosis feasible for detecting cancer, reducing or eliminating the need for more invasive procedures.