15-Year-Old Invents New Test for Early, Reliable Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

pancreatic cancer

Pancreatic cancer is a devastatingly fatal form of cancer, and is typically regarded as the most deadly and universally rapid-killing form of cancer. According to the U.S. National Cancer Institute,1 an estimated 45,220 Americans will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year, of which 38,460 are expected to die.

Part of the problem is that this cancer is usually diagnosed quite late, contributing to the abysmal five-year survival rate. It also shows you just how ineffective conventional detection methods and treatments are.

All of that may soon change however — all due to the persistence and dedication of a high school kid who decided there must be a better way to detect this lethal cancer sooner…

Yes, a 15-year-old boy named Jack Andraka has done what scientists with millions of dollars-worth of research grants at their disposal have failed to do. He invented a dipstick-type sensor to detect pancreatic, ovarian, and lung cancer that is:

– 168 times faster

– 26,000 times less expensive, and

– 400 times more sensitive than the current standard of detection

And he did it using Google and Wikipedia as his primary research tools — online resources that are available to virtually anyone on the planet with an internet connection. What’s more, the test costs three cents, takes five minutes, and has a 90 percent accuracy rate. Compare that to the current standard, which employs 60-year-old technology, costs about $800, and misses 30 percent of all pancreatic cancers.

How Could a High School Kid Make Such an Amazing Discovery?

You are in for a real treat. Please find the time to watch this awesomely inspiring video of a high school freshman who accomplished a major feat that most of us will never surpass in our lifetime. It is clearly one of the most inspiring videos I have ever seen. You are left with the impression if this high school freshman can do this, why can’t I achieve my goals?

Last year, Jack was awarded first place in the Intel International Science & Engineering Fair for his invention.2 To me the most impressive part of his story are the thousands of failures he went through that did not deter him in the pursuit of his goal. Absolutely magnificent story.

When Jack first began his research, he didn’t even know he had a pancreas, but when pancreatic cancer suddenly claimed the life of a close family friend who was like “an uncle” to him he got to thinking… and researching, using readily available online tools and freely available studies, he determined that the reason we haven’t done a better job at detecting pancreatic cancer is because we’re looking for a particular protein present in the blood, called mesothelin.

This protein is always present, but in ovarian, pancreatic, or lung cancer patients, this protein is elevated. The problem is, detecting elevated levels is like “finding a needle in a stack of identical needles.”

After determining the parameters for an ideal detection sensor — noninvasive, rapid, inexpensive, simple, sensitive, and selective — he set to work trying to figure out how to detect elevated levels of mesothelin. The idea for his dipstick sensor came during a high school biology class on the subject of antibodies, during which he was secretly reviewing a paper on analytical methods using the 21st century technology of carbon nanotubes. (His approach would be absolutely impossible when I was in high school as carbon nanotubes would not be discovered for many decades.)

Antibodies fit like a lock and key into an antigen binding site. In this case, that would be the mesothelin protein. His idea involved lacing the nanotubes with the antibody, which would subsequently only attract the mesothelin protein. The nanotube strip would then generate an electrical response large enough to detect with a simple ohm meter.

Once he had locked down his theory, he needed a lab space. He applied to 200 laboratories working with pancreatic cancer and promptly received 199 rejections. But there was one “maybe.” He “hunted down” the professor and eventually landed a meeting. And a place to work. Seven months later, after countless trials and errors, he had created his first paper sensor. The sensor has now been tested in blind studies on humans, and has been found to have a 90 percent accuracy rate. Another key is that this protein becomes elevated during the earliest stages of cancer, allowing for a greatly increased survival rate.

“Through the internet anything is possible,” -Jack says.

I couldn’t agree more. Not only is this story amazing because of his youth, it’s also an incredible testament to the power of the internet. Anyone can now, quite literally, change the world by putting the available information to good use! That is really the primary reason why I am able to provide all these news stories for you in the newsletter. Virtually all of them are carefully researched on the internet. We supplement these stories with my 20-plus years of clinical experience treating 25,000 patients and interviews with some of the leading health experts in the world.

Source: Mercola.com


195 Comments on 15-Year-Old Invents New Test for Early, Reliable Detection of Pancreatic Cancer

  1. This why I do not support the pink ribbon walks, runs, or whatever disease they are raising money for. They thrive on the raising of the money and the status quo, NOT on really finding cures or even better detection! The cures are there for anyone to find; we used one.

  2. ok, fine..but how do you get the detector to find out if you have it? My mom died of Pancreatic Cancer..it’s hereditary…I have an Aunt who is dying of Ovarian Cancer, end stage and may make it to Thanksgiving…How is this going to make it out to mainstream?

  3. Check this out because you may never see it again…it seems everytime I hear of something someone has discovered that will benefit our lives, it disappears and is never heard of again! This would be wonderful!! It seems like this cancer is on the rise…

  4. This is old great news. The question is…..when if ever will it be FDA approved and available to those in need ?? The kids been on the banquet/interview circuit for the last year. Let’s get this test to the masses.

  5. What a stupid & totally uneducated remark from Victor!! Maybe you should get your facts straight before you spew your venom! It’s all about the Benjamin’s as far as the drug companies are concerned!!:(

  6. AMAZING! CONGRATULATION. I just hope that everyone could have access to this test as soon as possible, so less innocent people would die without any hope from the alternative medicine.

  7. On “Shark Tank” last week, a young man had a small attachment for the IPhone which you could blow into, and it would tell you the amount of alcohol in your blood so you could make a decision about driving. Likewise, a diabetic could blow into it for testing their blood as well (and could ck for bad breath) Anyhow, the device sells for $49.95 BEFORE the drug industry gets involved. ALL the Sharks bought into the company producing the device to the tune of $1Million for a 30% share. The supplies are quite expensive for diabetics who need to test their blood on a regular basis and am sure they won’t want to loose that business

  8. He’s not a genius, he just hasn’t been bought yet by the Beef or Dairy Council! Your going to see a lot of our young people finding cure’s for cancer and solving age old problems because they won’t be bought or stifled! Our young people are going to be the answer to all our problems!

  9. So think about this the next time you are ask to donate money to the American Cancer Society they have had thirty years and millions of dollars and still use the same treatments. Research antineoplastons…..cancer is big business…big pharma ….big bucks

    • If these brilliant kids have a chance to make it…it will be because the ADULTS NOW take our country back away from the terrorist that are trying to run it, before another country has to step in and take us over. WE DO NOT WANT WWIII and OBAMA is HEADING US STRAIGHT THERE.

  10. And he did it using Google and Wikipedia as his primary research tools — online resources that are available to virtually anyone on the planet with an internet connection. What’s more, the test costs three cents, takes five minutes, and has a 90 percent accuracy rate. Compare that to the current standard, which employs 60-year-old technology, costs about $800, and misses 30 percent of all pancreatic cancers.

  11. Amazing smart kid! I hope he will get all the support he needs to go even further and to help all of us with his invention. This kid could have a brilliant future! And by the way, scientists are not allowed to find any kind of cure, otherwise they wouldn’t get any money for their research.

  12. Why is this kid wasting his time in High School? Somebody please buy him a lab. You will note that Big Pharma’s $800 test was 60 years old. Evidently they were not looking for anything cheaper or better. Why ruin a profitable thing?

  13. That should read “pretentious, overrated scientists”, and “millions of wasted dollars”. The so-called “higher education system” in America is one of the most over-inflated, farcical ruses to ever exist.

  14. Hah, dont be so silly about the researchers using ‘the research funding’ for looking for true answers! That is just a false facade on the front! That is a backhander from pharma companies just to make you feel good, give false hopes and a placebo effect, thinking something will come out of that research! People can wait till they all die, but, sorry to say, there will never ever be any true natural cures come out from searche! This is a multi trillion dollar BUSINESS, so they will find many more research monkeys to throw such money at to do so called research and should something accidently be discovered to cure cancers, the pharma companies will soon hush it up
    and get the FDA to ban that cure!!
    Lets not get too simple or naive please!

    • There have been other known cures for cancer for decades too. The corrupt government, corrupt drug industry, and corrupt medical industry all keep the public ignorant, and sick on purpose, and as always it is about money, and power.

    • A friend of mine has stage 4 cancer, was sick and dying from chemo, lost 60 pounds, hurting everyday. He stopped chemo AMA and began using cannabis oil. His cancer has been diminishing ever since, has gained his weight back, and feels healthy again. I would be skeptical until I saw first hand how amazing it really is. Now if only big pharma would gtfo.

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