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10-minute cancer test? Australian scientists say they have it

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BRISBANE, Australia -

Scientists in Australia say that they have developed a simple blood test able to detect cancer anywhere in the human body in less than 10 minutes.

According to scientists at the University of Queensland, the test works by using DNA samples to determine which cells are malignant and which ones are healthy. The study says the test has a 90 percent accuracy rate.

"The researchers in Australia found that this change in the DNA found in tumors actually results in physical changes in the property of DNA, such as bind to metal and soluble in water, that can be picked up by a very simple test,” says Dr. Shridar Ganesan with the Rutgers Cancer Institute.

Medical experts say that detecting cancer early increases the likelihood that therapeutic treatment and surgery would be successful. Researchers do note the test is still in the development phase, but could eventually lead to earlier and cheaper detection.

"This is very, very preliminary.  It doesn't tell you what kind of cancer it is. It doesn't tell you what stage of cancer it is. It doesn't tell you where the cancer came from or where it's going to go,” says Dr. Michael Nissenblatt with Regional Cancer Care Associates.

But Dr. Nissenblatt says that the test could still prove to be useful.

"In theory this could become a point of testing analysis, meaning you go to a local lab or go to the doctor and they can do a test in their office one day and perhaps tell you whether there is some kind of a cancer developing somewhere,” he says.

The study was published in the journal “Nature Communications.” More information about the study can be found at the journal’s website.

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