Cancer could be detected in 10-min blood test, new breakthrough study suggests

Cancerous cells attach to gold, the researchers at Queensland found

Researchers have discovered a curious difference between the DNA from cancer cells and that from healthy cells, and this finding could lead to a new blood test for cancer.

The difference? Cancer DNA has a rather strong affinity for gold, according to a new study. This feature appears to be common to cancer DNA in general, regardless of the type of cancer, the researchers said.

Taking advantage of this finding, the researchers designed a new test that uses gold nanoparticles to detect cancer. The gold particles change colour depending on whether or not cancer DNA is present. The result was a simple and fast test that could detect cancer in just 10 minutes, according to the study, published in the journal Nature Communications.

“You can detect it by eye — it’s as simple as that,” study senior author Matt Trau, a professor and senior group leader at the University of Queensland’s Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, said in a statement.