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New test can detect cancer using one drop of blood

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Chinese scientists have invented a new test that can diagnose multiple kinds of cancer by analysing just a drop of human blood. Researchers at Tsinghua University’s School of Life Sciences developed the reagent test kit of Hsp90a protein for clinical use. They had earlier identified a kind of heat shock proteins which exists in human bodies and can be used as a cancer biomarker.

The test kit was used in clinical trials at eight hospitals in China. It was the first clinical trial in the world to test if the protein could be a useful tumour biomarker for lung cancer, and it succeeded. The kit has now been certified to enter the Chinese and European markets.

Cancer is a group of diseases involving abnormal cell growth with the potential to invade or spread to other parts of the body. In 2015, about 90.5 million people had cancer in the world, with roughly 14.1 million new cases occurring each year. About 8.8 million human deaths, or 15.7 per cent of all deaths in the world, are caused by cancer.

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