Early Detection of Pancreatic Cancer through a Cheap, Non-invasive Salivary Test- 4 mins
Introduction & Background
Pancreatic Cancer is one of the most life-threatening cancers in the world. It takes away lives of around 300,000 people worldwide. Currently, there’s an urgent need for the early detection of this disease to increase the survival rates of this deadly cancer.
Generally, it is diagnosed using:
- Scans like PET, CT or MRI.
- Biopsy or,
- CA19-9 Blood Test
But according to American College of Radiology, no imaging exams should be done unless there is a clear medical benefit, also these scans are too expensive, which is not viable for a normal person to regularly take these scans. Biopsies on the other hand, often lead to confirmatory diagnosis, but a doctor usually recommends a biopsy after the patient has presented with almost all signs for a tumor. As it is an Invasive procedure, a patient can’t take biopsy tests for general screening. Coming to the CA19-9 blood test, it has a poor specificity & sensitivity of just 65-70%, hence cannot be used as a screening tool for the general population.
Spermine as a potential Bio-marker
According to a recent study, it was found that an increase of poly-amine concentration in bio-fluids correlates with increased cell proliferation and tumorigenesis. In Carcinomas like that of the pancreas, significant up-regulation of the 4 different poly-amines were found to have significant changes in salivary concentrations of Pancreatic Cancer vs Non-pancreatic Cancer patients
- N1 Acetylspermine
- N1 Acetylspermidine
Hence, Spermine was endorsed as a marker for Pancreatic Cancer.
Lateral Flow Assay for Analyzing the concentration of Spermine
We have designed a novel strip based assay to analyze the concentration of Spermine Protein through saliva. By the presence of 40nm carboxyl gold, a conjugate, it shows a color change at the control line, when target spermine present in the saliva binds with Anti-spermine gold-conjugated antibody & is detected by the Secondary detector probe.
After the test has been conducted, the intensity of the color change would be measured through a Convolution Neural Network based web application which would effectively confirm either the test showed positive or negative results & if positive then classify in which stage is the tumor most likely to be.
- This is the first ever strip to detect Pancreatic Cancer through saliva and it is nearly 125 times cheaper than general CT/MRI/PET scans & 10 times cheaper than the CA19-9 ELISA Blood test.
- All the previous methods requires Serum as a bio-fluid which is obtained through a minimally invasive procedure but our procedure requires Saliva as the bio-fluid which is totally non-invasive. (can be performed at home as well).
- We have integrated a smart web application based reader which easily distinguishes between normals & Pancreatic Cancer patients and makes the process even more Point of Care.
Awards & Recognitions
Gold Medal in the category of Science at Genius Olympiad 2019, an annual interdisciplinary International High School Competition, held at the State University Of New York (SUNY), OSWEGO, New York from 17th June 2019 to 21st June 2019.
Regional Finalist (Top 100 Exhibits from all around the world) of Google Science Fair 2018, World’s One of The Biggest Annual Science & Engineering Fair for High School Students.
Gold Medal in CSIR (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research) Innovation Award for School Children 2019. A cash award of 1 Lakh INR was awarded by The Science & Technology Minister of India, Dr. HarshVardhan in the presence of honourable President of India, Mr. RamNath Kobind at Vigyaan Bhavan, New Delhi on September 26th, 2019.
Gold Medal in the category of Chemistry at Indian Science and Engineering Fair 2019 organised by Science Society of India, held at K.J Dholakiya School, Rajkot, Gujrat on January 6th, 2019.
First Position at Vision:2030 IDEATE Challenge, conducted by Techfest 2018, held at IIT Powai, Mumbai. A cash award of 75,000 INR was also awarded.
Check out the full Project synopsis at Google Science Fair.