Health New cancer test could be the thin edge of the wedge

New cancer test could be the thin edge of the wedge

How do you detect the first, faintest warning signs of cancer?

Researchers at Monash University think they have the answer: a new testing method that uses the thinnest possible sensor.

When it comes to beating cancer, early treatment is crucial. The researchers’ breakthrough could have a big impact on a disease tipped to affect 150,000 Australians by 2020.

Cancer is known to signal its early appearance in tiny molecules. Unfortunately, they are virtually impossible to spot with current techniques.

In a world-first, the Monash team turned to a futuristic, filmy material known as an atimonene, which is so thin it is almost two-dimensional.

A sensor using the material increased detection rates up to 10,000 times, potentially opening the door to much earlier diagnosis.

Monash University’s Associate Professor Qiaoliang Boa says new approaches like these are desperately needed.

“[The sensor] provides a low-cost and non-destructive improvement in the detection … which could ultimately help millions of people globally by improving early diagnosis of cancer,” he says.

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