Youth Developes Pancreatic Diagnostic Strip At Age 15

Eve Sherrill York By Eve Sherrill York, 17th Apr 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Science>Chemistry

A young 15 year old is able to up date the 60 year old diagnostic tool used to diagnose ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancer.

The 15 Year Old That Discovers a New Diagnostic Tool

At the age of 15 Jack Andraka invented a tool that detects ovarian, lung and pancreatic cancer. The latter had claimed the life of a close family friend and sparked his interest in the disease. He started doing research and learned that the test being used to diagnose the disease was 60 years old and inaccurate much of the time. Many patients don't learn they have the disease until symptoms appear and the survival rate at that point is only 2 percent.

He was able to find a site online that showed the 8,000 proteins associated with pancreatic cancer and, on the 4000th try he found one that is found in the blood stream when the patient is in the early stages. He needed a professional lab to confirm his findings and so he compiled a material list, timeline, developed a budget and sent this off to 200 different researchers. It was the 199th at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine that gave him a positive response.

A fifteen year old Maryland high school sophomore at the time, his research resulted in a new type of diagnostic test using a paper sensor like the diabetic test strip. This paper strip is over 90 percent accurate in detecting the presence of a biomarker which tells whether a patient has early stage pancreatic cancer. This new discovery is 168 times faster, being 400 times more sensitive than the method used at the time. The test takes five minutes to run and costs just three cents. Having this cancer detected at a treatable, early stage will give patients a much better chance of surviving the disease.

Andraka now holds the international patent on the device he created using strips of filter paper, a small dipstick probe and very basic instrument measuring electrical resistance that he purchased at a hardware store.

This year he has won the Siemens We Can Change the World Challenge, a place on the Advocate Magazine's 2014 40 under 40 list, and the nation's public service award called the Jefferson Award. Also, he was the 2014 state of Maryland winner of the Stockholm Water Prize. In 2012 he was the winner of Smithsonian American Ingenuity Youth Award and the 2012 Gordon Moore Award with a grand prize of $75,000.

Andraka will be attending Stanford University in the Fall of 2015.


Diagnostic Strip, Lung Cancer, Ovarian Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer

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author avatar Eve Sherrill York
I am an award winning author and have enjoyed writing online for about a dozen years now. I like to write about what interests me and that list is long.

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