General, Research, Technology

Worms can detect 15 types of cancer in humans

Today, cancer diagnostics are usedthe most diverse technologies. As a rule, current hospitals use computed tomography for this, but sometimes cancer can be detected by blood tests. Recently, Japanese scientists have learned to diagnose cancer using Caenorhabditis elegans roundworms, which are also known as nematodes. No, to conduct research, these tiny creatures do not need to be swallowed. To do this, it is enough to take tests and allow the experts to place the worms next to urine samples. Observing the behavior of worms, you can find out with 85% accuracy whether a person has cancer or not.

Roundworms are also known as nematodes.

About the new cancer diagnosis technology wasnarrated in the scientific publication In vivo. It is called N-NOSE, which stands for Nematode-NOSE (English "nematode nose"). The study costs only 90 dollars, which at the current rate is approximately 6,000 rubles. The development of technology has been carried out since 2015 and now a new method for detecting cancer is used in some clinics in Japan. Representatives of European hospitals are already interested in the novelty, but it needs to be improved.

This is how round worms of the species Caenorhabditis elegans look like.

How to quickly detect cancer?

A new method for detecting cancer is quite simple. A urinalysis is taken from the patient, a sample of which is placed in the corner of the Petri dish. Then, millimeter worms of Caenorhabditis elegans, fed by E. coli, are placed in the middle of the laboratory vessel. Scientists have long noticed that nematodes tend to move to smells that are attractive to them and move away from unpleasant odors. So, during testing on the basis of biological samples from 17 hospitals in Japan, researchers found that the worms they chose usually come close to the urine samples of people with cancer, and stay away from biological samples of healthy people.

See also: Roundworms helped open a new mechanism for prolonging youth

Thanks to N-NOSE technology, you can quite accuratelyfind out if a person has cancer or not. In the future, scientists want to conduct a genetic modification of the worms so that they begin to approach the urine samples of people with certain types of cancer. In the future, the technology will recognize up to 15 types of cancer, including hard-to-diagnose pancreatic cancer. At the moment, the technology is effective in the diagnosis of cancer of the gastrointestinal tract.

Even dogs can detect cancer

The ability to recognize cancerdiseases are possessed not only by roundworms, but also by dogs. In 2017, the authors of the Kdog project reported that for six months they trained the German shepherd Thor and Nikos to smell the clothes of women with breast cancer. Subsequently, it turned out that trained dogs are able to recognize the disease with 100% accuracy.

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As you can see, there are a lot of methods for detecting cancer andthey are diverse. For the successful treatment of cancer, it is important to detect them at the initial stage. According to Japanese scientists, the roundworm method just helps to recognize cancer in the very early stages of its development. Perhaps in the near future, technology will help to significantly accelerate the treatment of deadly diseases and there will be much more healthy people on the planet.