Jack Thomas Andraka is an American student and the 2012 Intel Science Fair grand prize winner. Andraka was awarded the Gordon E. Moore Award for his work in developing a new method to detect pancreatic cancer.
A 15-year-old schoolboy could save millions of lives after he invented a new, low-cost test that can detect the early stages of a deadly form of cancer.
Jack Andraka from Crownsville, Maryland, developed a simple dip-stick test for levels of mesothelin, a biomarker for early stage pancreatic cancer found in blood and urine.
It promises to revolutionize treatment of the disease, which currently kills 19 out of 20 sufferers after five years – largely because its so difficult to detect until its final stages.
Andraka’s sensor costs $0.03 (to compare to a $800 cost of a standard test) and 10 tests can be performed per strip, taking 5 minutes each. The method is 168 times faster, 26,667 times less expensive, and 400 times more sensitive than ELISA, and 25% to 50% more accurate than the CA19-9 test.
Officials at Intel have said that Andraka’s method is more than 90 percent accurate in detecting the presence of mesothelin.