High School Student Develops Diagnostic Test to Detect Early-Stage Pancreatic Cancer

New approach to clinical laboratory testing could eliminate the need for tissue biopsies to diagnose different types of cancer

In Maryland, a 15-year-old high school freshman developed a diagnostic assay that experts say can be developed into medical laboratory test for the detection of pancreatic cancer. The teen’s prize-winning breakthrough test could change how cancer and other fatal diseases are diagnosed and treated.

More to the point for anatomic pathologists, this new approach to detecting pancreatic cancer is non-invasive, so it does not require a biopsy specimen. It is also inexpensive and fast. At a cost of about $3 per test, the diagnostic assay produces a result in five minutes.