Dogs can utilize their unique sense of smell to detect various forms of cancer in human breath, blood, and urine samples. In the lab a much simpler organism, the roundworm C. elegans, moves its way toward cancer cells by following an odor trail. Now, scientists have discovered a gadget that uses tiny worms to detect lung cancer cells. This worm-on-a-chip may someday assist noninvasively diagnose cancer at an earlier stage.
According to Nari Jang, a graduate student who worked on the project, early diagnosis of cancer is critical to effective treatment and survival. Consequently, cancer screening methods should be quick, easy, inexpensive, and noninvasive. Although dogs are often capable of detecting human cancer at their earliest stages, they arent helpful to keep in laboratories. So Jang and Shin Sik Choi, the researchers who worked on the project, decided to use nematodes, which are tiny (1 mm in length), easy to
According to Choi, the soil-dwelling nematode, C. elegans, is attracted or repelled by certain odors. They placed it on petri dishes and added drops of human urine to the group, indicating that the worms were likely to be used to detect lung cancers. In other cases, the researchers intend to collaborate with doctors to determine whether or not the worms are attracted to cancer.
Caenorhabditis elegans-on-a-chipAbstract: An easy, economical, rapid, non-painful and non-invasive cancer diagnosis is required for reducing cancer mortality rates. In this study, we investigated a novel lung cancer diagnosis technique based on cancer-specific odorants.