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Creating Waves of Awareness

15 Year Old Wins Big Prize For Pancreatic Cancer Detection Test

Students from around the world participated in an annual Intel International Science and Engineering Fair in Pittsburgh. This year, 2012, out of the 1,500 kids who competed from more than 70 countries, 15 year old Jack Andraka won the $75,000 grand prize.

Andraka, a high school freshman, created a non-invasive and inexpensive method to detect pancreatic cancer, the fourth leading cause of cancer deaths in the United States while doing his investigation in the the Johns Hopkins lab of Dr. Anirban Maitr.

The test uses a dip-stick sensor, based on diabetic test paper, to test blood or urine for signs of early stage pancreatic cancer.

This simple test claims a 90% accuracy rate, making the patent-pending sensor 168 times faster, 26,000 times less expensive and over 400 times more sensitive than previous tests. Andraka believes the sensor can also be extended to detect ovarian and lung cancers. 

  • “It detects an abnormal protein that you find in the blood when you have a pancreatic cancer,” Dr. Anirban Maitra, professor of pathology, oncology and chemical and biomolecular engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, told CBS affiliate WJZ-13.

  • Statistically, An estimated 44,000 people will be diagnosed with pancreatic cancer this year; of those patients, 94% will die within five years of diagnosis and 74% will die within the first year. (source: Time)

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Dear Waqar Sahib,

It is 4 years old success story. Now we are in 2016, what progress about  this

devoce    is made   after 4 years. Was it successful still and its working

is goods. Can we purchase this device in Pakistan ?


Dr. Nafees Iqbal

Multan Pakistan.

2015 Interview: 

When will it be available?

Currently I have the international patent on the technology. I’m in talks with several large biotech companies about getting it on the market as soon as possible. Getting a test from bench to bedside takes a long time so we’re still developing it, trying to get it mass-manufactured and more consumer-friendly. We’ve done some research on that part of it, so hopefully we’ll be able to enter clinical trials in the next 2-5 years and have it on the market in the next 5-10 years.


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