Toshiba's Newly Developed Technology Can Detect 13 Cancers With One Drop of Blood

The accuracy rate is as high as 99%.
Fabienne Lang

A new, safe, and quick method for detecting 13 different kinds of cancers has been developed by Toshiba Corporation.

To add more good news to the matter, the company said on Monday that the technology they've created has a 99% accuracy rate, and only requires one small drop of blood for the process.

The diagnosis method was developed alongside the National Cancer Center Research Institute and Tokyo Medical University. 


When will this technology be ready for public use?

It'll take a few more years before Toshiba's diagnosis technology is being used in public institutions. According to the teams working on it, it should be commercialized in several years' time and begin trials next year.

The hope is to use this method to promote treatment for cancers from an early stage.

The method works by examining the types and concentration of microRNA molecules that are secreted into the bloodstream from the cancer cells.

Toshiba's Newly Developed Technology Can Detect 13 Cancers With One Drop of Blood
The device Toshiba Corp. designed. Source: Toshiba

It has to be noted that other companies also use this method of diagnosing cancers from blood samples. However, "Compared to other companies' methods, we have an edge in the degree of accuracy in cancer detection, the time required for detection and the cost," said Koji Hashimoto, a chief research scientist at Toshiba's Frontier Research Laboratory. 

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Which cancers will the technology detect?

The 13 different cancer types Toshiba's method will be able to detect are gastric, esophageal, lung, liver, biliary tract, pancreatic, bowel, ovarian, prostate, bladder and breast cancers as well as sarcoma and glioma.

What's even more impressive than discovering 13 potential cancers from just one drop of blood is that the company's small chip and device can conduct the diagnosis within a mere two-hour timespan. Moreover, the cost is only 20,000 yen ($180)

With its incredibly high accuracy rate, low cost, fast diagnosis, and large cancer type detection, this technology may be fundamental in doctors' and oncologists' offices worldwide. 

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