The Future of Early Cancer Detection

Tcancerhere are two somewhat unsexy technologies grounded in science fiction that I’ve been wanting for years:

  1. The ability for my car to tell me exactly what’s wrong with it.
  2. A scanning device to scan my body and tell me any diseases/ailments I may have.

Thanks to Jorge Soto, the second technology might be much closer to reality than I ever imagined.

It’s not a scanning device in the traditional sense (like an MRI machine). Instead, Soto’s innovation uses a scanner that’s already built into our bodies: Our circulatory system. Specifically, RNA inside of our blood.

You’ll have to watch the video to fully understand the concept, but basically when you go to your doctor for an annual checkup, you’ll get a standard blood test and a cancer blood test. The blood used for the cancer test is split into 96 segments on a plate, each portion of which has a specific biochemistry.

Here’s the cool part: After the blood is divided in that way, all you have to do is take a photo of it using a standard smart phone. The image goes to a database for processing and interpretation. 60 minutes later, and you have a full readout of any cancers you might have.

This isn’t some hypothetical concept. Soto and his team have already been able to successfully diagnose pancreatic cancer, lung cancer, breast cancer, and hepatic cancer. They’re sequencing for other cancers too.

Isn’t this ridiculously incredible? Cancer is so often discovered by chance or after it’s too late. With a simple, comprehensive test like this, you could get a full cancer screening simply by donating blood to the Red Cross. Catch the cancer when it’s just barely forming, and you can save so much time, energy, and money. You could save millions of lives.

I’m blown away by this. What do you think?

8 thoughts on “The Future of Early Cancer Detection”

    • Gino: Sure, feel free to share it. I think the original video is much more interesting than what I wrote here, though, so you might just focus on that. 🙂

      Reply
  1. That’s amazing! It’s a shame it’s “just” for cancer – there’s a whole bunch of other stuff it’d also be great to be aware of. But that in itself is almost incredible! We truly live in a marvelous age.

    Reply
    • Behrooz: That’s true, but I’m under the impression that cancer might just be the start of it. You’re right that it would be awesome if the test could detect other ailments too (though any blood test can catch a lot of stuff already).

      Reply
  2. Long time no comment…
    I think this is fantastic, until the insurance companies don’t approve it. If nothing else, it’s a baseline test everyone should have done at least once, if not on a decade interval.

    Reply

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