'Liquid Biopsy' Cancer Detection Gets Raves From Medical Experts; New Saliva Test Gives Diagnosis in 10 Minutes

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Feb 15, 2016 05:00 AM EST

SAN FRANCISCO - AUGUST 18: Buttons with the words 'cancer sucks' are seen on display in the gift shop at the UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center August 18, 2005 in San Francisco, California. The UCSF Comprehensive Cancer Center continues to use the latest research and technology to battle cancer and was recently rated 16th best cancer center in the nation by US News and World Report. (Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A "liquid biopsy" test using the patient's saliva will reportedly give an accurate cancer diagnosis in just 10 minutes.

The cheap cancer diagnosis test is 100 percent accurate and only needs a drop of saliva from the patient. According to David Wong, a professor of oncology at California State University, detecting tumor DNA circulating in the body is called a liquid biopsy approach.

"If there is circulating signature of a tumour in a person blood or saliva, this test will find it," said Professor Wong, as reported by Telegraph. "We need less than one drop of saliva and we can turn the test around in 10 minutes. It can be done in a doctor's office while you wait.

He added that the saliva test is so easy and simple to use that anyone can use it - be it the patient themselves, a doctor or even a pharmacist.

"Early detection is crucial. Any time you gain in finding out that someone has a life-threatening cancer, the sooner the better," he explained. "With this capability, it can be implemented by the patient themselves in a home check, or dentist or pharmacy."

According to RT, the scientists investigated the idea of using saliva to detect cancer after they discovered that it can contain fragments of genetic messenger moleculeRNA associated with cancer. The diagnosis can be made early as soon as the tumor develops and it is highly accurate.

The current cancer tests involve numerous blood tests or a biopsy in order to sequence a tumor. However, this is only used by doctors to find out how much the cancer has spread but it cannot detect it early. When it comes to cancer, early detection is key to a higher survival rate and successful treatment.

"The advantages of our technology is that it is non-invasive. If you have a credible early screening risk assessment technology that people can use on their own or at dentists' office or pharmacists - that's the key, early detection," he said, as reported by Daily Mail.

Professor Wong added that the saliva cancer test can be used for numerous cancers at the same time. The test is cheap and in the UK, it costs around 15 pounds. Professor Wong is hopeful for the test to be available in the UK after a decade. The saliva test will have full clinical trials for cancer patients this year and is expecting to be approved after 2 years by the US Food and Drug Administration.


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