A new multiple-cancer test can detect disease from a single drop of blood

By - World Healthcare Journal

A new multiple-cancer test can detect disease from a single drop of blood

A new medical device developed by Toshiba can detect 13 different types of cancer from a single drop of blood with 99 per cent accuracy.

According to researchers at Toshiba, the device is designed to examine the types and concentrations of molecules known as microRNA which are found in the blood when cancer is present.

The device, which consists of a chip and a small device, can test and perform a reported “99 per cent accurate” diagnosis from a single drop of blood in as little as two hours.

Furthermore, blood tests using the device are expected to cost no more than ¥20,000 ($180), making it a cost-effective and affordable healthcare solution which could easily be incorporated into routine health checks in many different health systems.

The test will be used to detect cancers within the digestive system, oesophagus, lungs, liver, biliary tract, pancreas, bowels, ovaries, prostate, bladder and breast - as well as some sarcomas and gliomas.

“Compared to other companies’ methods, we have an edge in the degree of accuracy in cancer detection, the time required for detection and the cost,” Koji Hashimoto, a chief research scientist at Toshiba’s Frontier Research Laboratory, says.

In partnership with the National Cancer Centre Research Institute and Tokyo Medical University, Toshiba hopes to commercialise the product in “several years”. A clinical trial of the device is due to commence this year.

This also follows recent global success into blood testing for cancer. Last year, researchers at Nottingham University discovered a possible method of discovering breast cancer up to five years early, through studying the body’s immune response to cancer cells within the blood.

The breakthrough is an example of the work that Toshiba is doing to implement its five-year development strategy which was launched in April last year. Medical business, genome analysis, cell diagnosis, and digital solutions are all key growth pillars for the business.

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