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Nanotechnology presents lung cancer detection method

Nanotechnology presents lung cancer detection method
19th September 2011

A new highly sensitive technology has presented a way to detect lung cancer much earlier than was previously possible, providing more hope for people in palliative care.

Researchers at the University of Missouri used blood plasma samples to detect a change in ribonucleic acid molecules that signify lung cancer, making it the first time nanopore technology has been used to detect the disease.

"This technology could possibly be used in the future to detect other cancer types as well as other types of diseases with specific DNA or RNA in the blood," said Li-Qun Gu, an associate professor of biological engineering at the university.

Lung cancer is the most common cause of cancer-related death worldwide, with more than 155,000 people in the US expected to die from the disease this year and a further 221,000 diagnosed.

However, the news follows a decline in lung cancer rates in the US, according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, which attributed the drop to successful anti-smoking campaigns.

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