Study: Tapeworms and Cancer Detection

Cancer Research_1736480659938755838
(NBC News) Scientists in Japan are using roundworms to test for cancer with near-perfect accuracy.

The new test was developed by researchers at Kyushu University.

The method offers the possibility of cheap, precise and painless cancer screening- and hopes of an early cure.

The test relies on roundworms’ keen sense of smell.

Roundworms move towards smells they like, and away from ones they don’t.

The scientists applied this to cancer patients’ urine.

The roundworms appear to like the smell.

They move toward the urine of cancer patients, and away from that of healthy people.

The test works with 95 percent accuracy- even with early stage cancer.

Dogs are already used to detect cancer.

But dogs are only good for about five samples a day.

The roundworm test costs only a few dollars and produces results in about an hour.

Only one drop of urine is required.

The team plans to begin clinical testing.

They hope to introduce roundworms in hospitals in about a decade.

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