15-Year old Teenager Invents Cancer Detection Test

jack-andrakaA 15 years old student might save the lives of millions of people from all over the world, as he invented a simple test that can detect pancreatic cancer in it’s early stages.

Jack Andraka from Crownsville, Maryland, invented a simple test, similar to the test used to check the blood sugar levels.

The tests costs $3 and it analyzes the level of mesothelin, a biomarker that appears in the blood and urine of cancer patients.

After it is diagnosed, pancreatic cancer kills 19 out of 20 patients because, many times, it is diagnosed too late.

Jack Andraka says that with this simple test, the chances of pancreatic cancer patients to be cured are of 100%.

The test Jack Andraka invented as an accuracy of more than 90%. He claims that his test can also detect lung and ovarian cancer, by using the same method.

Furthermore, he says that the test can be modified to detect other diseases, such as the HIV virus.

After the blood is analyzed, the tests provides results in just five minutes. For inventing this test, Jack won the first place at the Intel Science Fair 2012.

He received a $75,000 scholarship but he says that his biggest joy is that he proved to everybody that he was right.

No less than 197 reputable scientists refused Jack when he went asking for their help, motivating that his invention will never work.

The only one who believed in him was doctor Anirban Maitra, oncology professor at John Hopkins University, who mentored him.

Jack’s idea for the test is very simple: he used mesothelin antibodies and a special paper filter, along with carbon nanotubes. In the presence of the antibodies that show signs of cancer, the nanotubes expand and modify the electric property of the paper. A weaker electric signal usually indicates that there is a higher level of mesothelin in the blood.

Jack wants this cancer detection test to be accessible to everybody and he wants it to be available in stores, just like pregnancy tests. The test has a price of $3 and can be used 10 times.

Jack’s cancer detection test is 168 times faster, 26,000 times cheaper and 400 times more accurate than previous pancreatic cancer detection tests.