TSU scientists creating a new method for diagnosing lung cancer

26 December 2016

Scientists of Tomsk State University with colleagues from Krasnoyarsk State Medical University are working out a new test system for diagnosing lung cancer. This method simultaneously reveals not one but six tumor markers in the blood, which will accelerate diagnosis and make it more reliable.

Doctors from KrasSMU developed a minimally invasive method for the simultaneous detection of several tumor marker proteins in human plasma. Now this method is being put into practice at the TSU Siberian Physical and Technical Institute.

The new test system is a chip with gold electrodes, which are attached to six different aptamers - a piece of DNA molecules that can bind tightly to a variety of oncomarkers. In the process of diagnosis, blood plasma is applied to the chip. If it contains specific proteins, they bind to the DNA for 30 minutes. Then scientists process the signal from the aptamer.

- Depending on the presence or absence of tumor marker protein in the blood plasma, the signal will be different - explained Anastasia Shabalina, senior researcher at the Laboratory of New Materials and Advanced Technologies SPhTI. - Our goal is to receive and process the signal and calculate the inaccuracy. These data are needed to determine how we can, for example, increase the accuracy and sensitivity of the method.

Also, in parallel with the main research, SPhTI scientists are looking for an opportunity to simplify the analysis procedure itself. For example, they are trying to replace pretreatment of electrodes with a caustic mixture by the more gentle process of electrochemical preparation.