Did this 15-year-old just change the course of medicine? Student invents early test for pancreatic cancer that killed Steve Jobs
- Jack Andraka’s new test detects pancreatic cancer earlier than any other
- Deadly disease currently kills 19 out of 20 within five years
- He claims his invention could raise survival rates to ‘close to 100 per cent’
A 15-year-old schoolboy could save millions of lives after he invented a new, low-cost test that can detect the early stages of a deadly form of cancer.
Jack Andraka from Crownsville, Maryland, developed a simple dip-stick test for levels of mesothelin, a biomarker for early stage pancreatic cancer found in blood and urine.
It promises to revolutionise treatment of the disease, which currently kills 19 out of 20 sufferers after five years – largely because its so difficult to detect until its final stages.
Jack’s invention, for which was last month awarded the grand prize of $75,000 in scholarship funds at the 2012 Intel Science Fair, means that patients now have a simple method to detect pancreatic cancer before it becomes invasive.
His novel patent-pending sensor has proved to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive, and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests.