New blood test developed in Japan can detect 13 types of cancer with 99% accuracy in 2 hours

A trial period will begin in 2020.

Syahindah Ishak | November 26, 2019, 12:43 PM

Japanese tech company Toshiba Corporation announced on Nov. 25 that it has developed a new technology to detect 13 types of cancer from a blood sample, with 99 per cent accuracy.

Can identify cancer within two hours

According to Kyodo News, the technology is used to detect the early stages of gastric, esophageal, lung, liver, biliary tract, pancreatic, bowel, ovarian, prostate, bladder and breast cancers.

It also detects sarcoma and glioma.

The blood tests will run through a chip and a small device will then identify the type of cancer within two hours.

This could potentially reduce the cost of cancer screening.

Measuring miRNA molecules in the blood

Toshiba scientists said that the test measures the concentration of microRNA (miRNA) molecules secreted in the blood from cancer cells.

However, Toshiba is not the only company that utilises this method for cancer detection.

Japan Times reported that Toray Industries, among other companies, has also developed its own technology to detect cancer using miRNA molecules from a blood sample.

But chief research scientist at Toshiba’s Frontier Research Laboratory, Koji Hashimoto, stated that Toshiba's technology has a faster and higher accuracy rate in the detection of cancer.

In addition, it is not as expensive as other companies' devices.

A blood test using the device is expected to cost ¥20,000 (S$250) or less.

Trial period begins next year

Toshiba's device was developed together with Tokyo Medical University and the National Cancer Center, reported NHK.

The company hopes to commercialise the technology in a few years' time.

A trial period for the device will begin next year.

Top photos via Pexels.