Wednesday, 8 May 2013

Jack Andraka, A 15 Year School Boy Revolutionarily Combats Pancreatic Cancer

Jack Andraka, who is he? Let me inform you that this is the child prodigy, genius or sophomore or whatever you call, who has broken the ground of pancreatic cancer in the medicine world by his invention of a test that could detect pancreatic cancer in its very early stage than any other tests available. Before getting into detail, let me share something .

I never liked reading story books. Believe me friends, just never and ever. But I am talking about the instance, once when I was having a magazine in my hands in which  the life story of Steve Jobs, yes, the founder of Apple, Steve Jobs, one of my favorites, was written. I was  just giving a glance at the story and soon it turned out to be  very enjoyable reading the story. And since then, I have a feeling that reading story books and novels would sometimes be fun and we could also learn a whole universe of  things from them.

Steve Jobs died from lately detected pancreatic cancer . His pancreatic cancer could not be detected in the very early stage and as a result he could not get appropriate treatment for this and this  ultimately led him to death with a last stage pancreatic cancer. Now, just imagine how many people like him die from the same problem of  late pancreatic cancer detection. 19 out of 20 people die of pancreatic cancer within five years. Does not the survival rate seem to be totally negligible. Well friends, I think there is a miracle solution to this problem now.Yes, this is a miracle breakthrough towards saving millions of people’s life from deadly pancreatic cancer and even from ovarian and lung cancer too.

Again, guess what friends, very amazingly, like Akrit Jaswal, the youngest 7 year old surgeon of the world, this miracle revolution is brought about by only a 15 year old school boy. Wow, so amazing. This boy claims that the use of this test, the survival rates from pancreatic cancer, which were almost negligible, could be raised to 100%  For me, these are angels being sent by God to alleviate sufferings of the ill people on the earth.

What Is This Test

Jack Andraka, from Crownsville, Maryland, developed a simple dip – stick type sensor test for detecting elevated levels of a protein called mesothelin. This protein is always present in blood and urine but the elevated levels of this protein indicates the presence of pancreatic cancer, ovarian and lung cancers too, which have been a really difficult job for the scientist for years..Jack developed the test which could detect this initial increase in mesothelin levels during the early stages of pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancers when there is a greater chance of cure of the cancer if treated appropriately. This little boy has done such a wonderful job with only the reach of  Wikipedia and Google as his primary tools which are available to any one on the earth with an internet connection that even many great scientists could not managed to do after years of research and with millions of dollars – worth of research.

This test is claimed to be 168 times faster, simple and sensitive 26, 000 less expensive and 400 times more standard than the current standard available tests.

In a similar way antibodies fit into an antigen binding site like a lock and key, he laced carbon nano - tubes with mesothelin specific antibodies which specifically attracted the mesothelin protein in blood and urine and then the nano – tube strip generated an consequent electrical signal large enough to detect with a simple ohm meter.

The test works in a similar way that the diabetic test strips work, just requiring a single drop of blood wether these patients are carrying the elevated levels of the mesothelin biomarkers. The results are claimed to be 90% accurate and cost about 3 cents only, which is a really good news for the people from a low earning family to reach out for medical help.

What Led Jack to Start His Research

Many times it happens that someone close to us has died of deadly disease and we get so deeply attacked by emotions that we feel like if we had the power to do something to combat the disease and could save the life of the loved one. But for most of the cases, that is it, we just  remain emotionally suffered, not having the courage to do something. But this little boy has not just stopped by emotions as a family uncle of his died from this deadly pancreatic cancer. He started researching on this disease and getting to the root of the reason that why this cancer is not preventable. He thought that  there must be a simple way. And when he started his research, very interestingly he did not even know that he himself had a pancreas.

In the meantime his father, who is a civil engineer, and him has been using carbon nano – tubes to screen compounds in water from Chesapeake Bay. The carbon nano – tubes are tiny cylindrical structures and have the property of  conducting electricity better than copper. Together with these properties of carbon nano – tubes and the lectures on antibodies by his biology teacher, he found his eureka moment that what if  he laced a carbon nano  tube with a mesothelin specific antibody and then introduce a drop of blood from a pancreatic cancer patient? This idea led him to complete his theory research and start doing the lab research.

How Jack Andraka Made This Invention  Possible

Jack thought of lacing  the nano -  tubes with the antibody specific mesothelin and introduced a pancreatic cancer  patient’s blood. The antibodies would bind to the mesothelin and enlarge which would cause the nano – tubes to spread further apart changing the electrical properties of the nano – tube network. The more mesothelin  present, the more antibodies would bind to the protein and the more the tube would enlarge, and the weaker the electrical signal would become. This would detect the elevating levels of mesothelin in blood and urine of these patients in the early stage of their pancreatic cancer.

Jack Andraka mailed his experimental protocol to 200 researchers, from which only one researcher called  Dr. Anirban Maitra, responded and invited Jack to his lab. Jack’s test detected mesothelin in artificial samples and pinpointed mesothelin in the blood of mice carrying  human pancreatic tumors. Jack Andraka’s breakthrough could now grant a survival rate of 100% for pancreatic cancer patients. 

About The Little Scientist Jack Andraka

Jack Thomas Andraka, born in 1997, from Crownsville, Maryland, is a an inventor, scientist and cancer researcher. He is the 2012 Intel Science Fair Grand prize winner and he was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award for the invention of  the new  simple, rapid, reliable and sensitive dip – stick type sensor for the detection of the early stage of pancreatic cancer and also ovarian and lung cancer. The Gordon E. Moore Award is for $75, 000. He also won other prizes totaling a  prize of $ 100,500.

So friends, if suspecting for pancreatic, lung or ovarian cancer or other forms of cancer, tuberculosis, HIV, etc., it is time to be fearless as this revolutionary dip – stick test could save us by leading to seek early medical treatments.

The whole story was just incredibly fantastic for me, and I hope, it was far more fantastic to you all friends. These little Einsteins should be saluted by us, so let us salute them friends.

Ok friends, this is bi, bi time. If you all are really enjoying the information through our blog, please give your friends also the chance to let know these information by sharing our blog link to their links.
Till our next post, stay healthy, be passionate like Akrit Jaswal and Jack Thomas Andraka, and keep blogging. 

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