TED Talk: A Simple Blood Test That Can Catch Cancer Early
Jimmy Lin is a geneticist who is devoted to developing technologies to seize cancer cells in the early stages. Recently, he shares a breakthrough technique that looks for the presence of cancer cells by using a simple blood test that detects the recurrence of the condition 100 days earlier than traditional methods. The new technology could be a ray of hope in fighting cancer where early detection makes a big difference. The talk was presented recently at an official TED conference.
Cancer continues to be the number killer and many people have succumbed to this horrible disease worldwide. While the mention of cancer often conjures up emotions of sadness, anger, fear, Lin brings good news to the world with exciting developments that will make the world win the war on cancer.
Cancer research has gone through various phases of revolution. The first is cancer genomics: the genome is a composition of all genetic information encoded by DNA in an organism. In cancers, changes in the DNA called mutations are what drive cancer to be out of control.
Lin was part of the team at Johns Hopkins 10 years that first mapped cancer mutations for several cancer conditions including colorectal, breast, pancreatic, and brain tumors. Since then there have been over 90 projects across the world all working to study the genetic basis of these diseases. Currently, thousands of cancer molecular details are known.
The second revolution is precision medicine also known as ‘personalized medicine’. There is a new class of drugs that can target cancers based on their unique genetic profile. Today, there are a number of tailor-made drugs available to physicians.
The third phase is immunotherapy, where scientists have managed to leverage the immune system in the fight against cancer. Also, there are other ways that can be used to drain the immune cells from the body, train them, engineer them, and return them back to the body to fight cancer. The three exciting revolutions are just the beginning as there are still many challenges.
Jimmy Lin suggests a new method of detecting cancer in the early stages using the latest technology that he has developed which involves a simple blood test.