A 15-Year-Old Jack Andrake May Have Revolutionized How We Detect Cancer

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A child-prodigy, 15-year old Jack Andrake may have changed the course of medicine. The school boy from Crownsville, Maryland, invented a simple test for detection of mesothelin, a biological indicator for early stage pancreatic cancer. This dangerous cancer killed Steve Jobs, and it kills 19 out of 20 patients after five years.

cancer

(Image courtesy of the BBC)

Pancreatic cancer is very difficult to detect, but Andrake may have unlocked the disease and in route to save millions. His test works in a similar way to diabetic tests. It uses paper and a drop of blood or urine to determine if patients carry the mesothelin. After early results, it is said that this almost instant test is 90 percent accurate. Incredibly it costs only 3 cents!

Andraka says that these tests are “cool” because they are applicable to other diseases, like other forms of cancer, tuberculosis, HIV, and environmental contaminants like E Coli or salmonella.

“Fabulous story. Very inspiring. I love this kid!! We need to hear more stories like this! Pancreatic cancer is a devastating killer and this brilliant young man may have found a way to detect it early! Sad to read that so many scientists blew him off, probably because of their lack of respect for a teenager’s mind’.”, said Manhattan Orthopedic Care physician, Dr. Armin Tehrany.

Last month, Andraka, 15, won $75,000 in scholarship funds at the 2012 Intel Science Fair for his invention.