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A real-time diagnosis for a treatable cancer
Date:6/9/2009

ed biomarker tests used today are the off-the-shelf pregnancy test and the test used by diabetics to monitor blood-sugar levels.

With his tool, Vernick can scan up to four different biomarkers for colon cancer, an extraordinarily effective method for finding elusive colon cancer malignancies.

The chip is essentially an electrochemical biosensor programmed to recognize and bind to colorectal cancer biomarkers with high specificity. "Following this bio-recognition event, the electrodes on the chip transduce the signal it receives into an electric current, which can be easily measured and quantified by us," says Vernick.

Testing for Colon Cancer in the Living Room

In addition to the lab-on-a-chip technology, Vernick and his fellow researchers believe they are well on the way to establishing a blood test for colon cancer, which, when used together with colonoscopies, offers a comprehensive package of colon cancer detection.

"When you combine all these methods together, you increase the level of confidence in the results, eliminating false positives and negatives which are dominant today in tests for colorectal cancer," says Vernick. This research, which is funded in part by American-Israeli businessman and philanthropist Lester Crown, is to be commercialized as a complete method of cancer detection, combining blood screening and biopsy.

The ultimate goal would be for patients to have the ability to test themselves at home. "Glucose sensors used by diabetics are the best example today of a hand-held home biosensor test," says Vernick. In the future, he would like to offer patients a similar technology for colorectal cancer detection, in partnership with their physicians. "A person could submit the results of a home test directly online or to their doctor. This is my ultimate goal," he says.


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Contact: George Hunka
ghunka@aftau.org
212-742-9070
American Friends of Tel Aviv University
Source:Eurekalert  

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