Researcher Dr Abu Sina said, “This unique nano-scaled DNA signature appeared in every type of breast cancer we examined, and in other forms of cancer including prostate, colorectal and lymphoma.”
He also said, “The levels and patterns of tiny molecules called methyl groups that decorate DNA are altered dramatically by cancer – these methyl groups are key for cells to control which genes are turned on and off.”
According to researchers, the new test involves a tool that is able to help analyze the pattern changes at the whole genome level within minutes.
The researcher team also said that the technology has proved to be up to 90 percent accurate in tests involving 200 human cancer samples and normal DNA. Their study was published in scientific journal Nature Communications.
The findings mean that “inexpensive and portable detection devices” could eventually be tapped as diagnostic tools, “possibly with a mobile phone,” said the team’s Professor Matt Trau.
“We certainly don’t know yet whether it’s the holy grail for all cancer diagnostics, but it looks really interesting as an incredibly simple universal marker of cancer, and as an accessible and inexpensive technology that doesn’t require complicated lab-based equipment like DNA sequencing,” he added.