Tumors are greedy for gold. Scientists close to a test that will detect cancer in 10 minutes

According to a new study, cancer cells form a unique DNA structure that binds strongly to gold nanoparticles. It appears to be common in various types of cancer. With this discovery, scientists are on their way to creating an effective and very fast diagnostic procedure. In tests, the method developed by the researchers achieved 90 percent of the. effectiveness of.

Each type of cancer, whether breast or intestinal, has different genetic characteristics. A test that detects one type may not be effective for another. Scientists have long been searching for a diagnostic tool thatóre can be used in all types of cancerów.

The discovery of the Australian scientistsóin can change the wayób diagnosis of cancerów. They have developed a new marker using gold nanoparticles thatóry in as little as 10 minutes can detect cancer in theór.

The findings of the researchersów from the University of Queensland have been published in the journal „Nature Communications”.

„Our studies have shown that the DNA of tumorów forms a unique structure when placed in water. The structure is identical for canceróin breast, prostate and intestinal cancers, as well as lymphoma. We used this discovery to develop a test thatóry can identify tumorór in less than ten minutes” – wrote the authors of the study in the pages of „The Conversation”.

Currently, detecting cancerów requires tissue biopsy – a surgical procedure to harvest tissue from a patient‘s tumor. Australian researchers were looking for a less invasive method thatóra would make it possible to detect cancerów at an earlier stage.

Professor Matt Trau, coóhe author of the publication said it was difficult to find a simple marker thatóry odrówould have been a comórk cancerous cells from healthy ones. – We did not think that in the ogóle will be possible because cancer is so complex. Even in the case of breast cancer, there are more than a dozen types ofów. We believed that it would be necessary to develop róThe tests for róThe genusóin cancer – admitted Trau.

Everyórka in the body share the same DNA, but studies have shown that cancer progression causes the DNA to undergo significant reprogramming. Novotwór controls the wayób functioning of the comórek. Australian researchers instead of looking for a traceóin canceróin whole DNA sequences looked at patterns of molecules called methyl groups, whichóre control whichóre genes are turned on and off.

The researchers focused on the epigenome – A chemical set of DNA modifications thatóre have an important function in regulating the expression of genów. These modifications do not change the DNA sequence, but affect the wayób, in which comórki read genes. One exampleów of epigenetic change is the so-called. DNA methylation, whichóra leads to the silencing of someórych genesów. Changing this pattern is one wayóin which the comótumor cells regulate their own proliferation – The ability to reproduce.

Scientists found that in healthy cellsóThe methyl groups are distributed róuniformly across the genome. But in comócancer recs, the methyl groups were placed in intense clusters in certain places, while in others their w ogóle there were no.

– Virtually every cancer DNA studied has had this highly predictable pattern ofór,” said Professor Trau. – If we think about the comórce, how about a hard drive. The epigenome is something of an app, w któthe cellóThe rka acts at a given time. It looks like you need to run a series of genetic applications to trigger cancer – explained Trau.

Gold nanoparticles proved to be crucial in the development of the marker. With their help, the researchers created a test thatóry can detect cellsórks of cancer, raising this pattern ofóepigenetic r in blood and biopsy tissue.

The step forward was made possible after they discovered that placing tumor DNA in solution caused it to fold into 3D structures. Wóat the time it was found that cancerous DNA has a strong affinity for gold. Its structures adhere to nanoparticles and instantly change the color of the solution.

The procedure requires a small amount of purified DNA mixed with a few drops of solution with gold particles. – Our test is a simple blood test, and the results can be seen with the naked eye – admitted Trau.

The researchers checked swój test on 200 próbki derived from zaróbrought in by the patientóIn healthy as well as cancer patients. Professor Trau admitted that the accuracy of detecting comórec of cancers was as high as 90 percent. At this stage, the test can only detect the presence of comórec of cancer, rather than its type or stage of disease.

The test is at a very early stage and there is still a long way to go before it is available to patientsów. It is not known whether in ogóle this will happen. Further research is needed to see if this method will be useful for diagnosing cancerów. The next stage of the work will be clinical trials with humans.

An additional plus is that the method is inexpensive and can be widely available. It does not require sophisticated laboratory equipment. – We don’t yet know if this is the Holy Grail for all cancer diagnostic methodsóIn, but it looks really interesting – highlighted Trau.