Tuesday, January 29, 2013

15 Year Old Comes Up With Pancreatic Cancer Test - Survival Rate Will Be 100%

15 year old Jack Andraka won $75,000 in scholarship money but will probably be a kazillionaire before he is 20. The 15 year old developed a simple test that costs 3 cents and will detect mesothelin which is a biomarker for pancreatic cancer. The test should allow for a 100% survival rate for pancreatic cancer. Currently the only test available does not notice pancreatic cancer until it is almost too late to do anything. Jack developed a simple stick test for your blood and urine that costs 3 cents and will save millions of lives. Meanwhile today, I just feel proud of myself because I have not written about Lindsay Lohan yet.

81 comments:

Frufra said...

Well, this is pretty damn awesome. Off to the google to read about this kid. I need to get my 14 year old in gear!

Christopher Cruz said...

This kid is amazing!

LottaColada said...

This really warmed my heart when I read about this earlier. His parents must be so utterly proud of what he is doing for the world.

BFSkinnerchick said...

I remember herring about this kid before! Hooray for him and hooray for science!

FSP said...

That is seriously awesome!

And Enties, since you haven't brought her up, I will. I read LiLo was going to be a mom.

Frufra said...

Look how excited he is when he found out he won:

http://www.bradaronson.com/jack-andraka/

BFSkinnerchick said...

Hearing not herring. Was holding a sick and sleepy baby while typing. Sorry.

VIPblonde said...

That's amazing!!!! The cynic in me hopes this actually makes it to the marketplace (big pharma usually doesn't it like when things can be done on the cheap)

KellyLynn said...

Wow! For a kid that age to even have the sort of knowledge that would make this possible is amazing. On the other hand, it may be his ability to look at the world with fresh eyes that allowed him to find a solution that established researchers missed.

Beta said...

"Meanwhile today, I just feel proud of myself because I have not written about Lindsay Lohan yet."

LOL Entward!! same feeling here :D

WOW we need more of this kind of kids :) :)
amazing
I have a little faith in our future :)

dia papaya said...

The power of science!

I love reading about smart kids changing the world! Go Jack! This is just the beginning for you. What other awesome inventions do you have hiding in your brain?

Happy start to my day! Thanks Enty. This invention will save lives. Pancreatic cancer has been a death sentence prior to this. Exciting news!

Dagny said...

This is amazing! Hopefully now, a dx of pancreatic cancer won't be the death sentence that it currently is. Can't say how impressed I am with this kid! AND he's only 15. Absolutely amazing.

auntliddy said...

Completely outstanding in every wsy. I too fear what big pharma will do to this find. Hope he keeps control of it snd doesnt sell it.

JSierra said...

This makes me so happy. Last Thursday my family lost someone extremely close to us to a battle with Pancreatic cancer. It was sudden and spread quickly, but she was strong and brave to the end. The world lost a truly incredible, bright light and I know that she would be happy to hear that others will not have to experience the pain that she felt and that her family feels right now. RIP Rhonda, you are a beautiful, beautiful soul and we will never forget the love and joy that you brought into your lives.

JSierra said...

*our lives.

SusanB said...

This kid deserves every dime of the kazillion he'll earn. And hopefully, he'll go on to other wonderful discoveries.

@JSierra - so sorry for your loss.

KPeony said...

This is so amazing!

MISCH said...

this is fantastic....what a great future he has...in fact if he never does another thing he's a superstar

Glitter said...

Wow! I love this story

dia papaya said...

@kellylynn - was thinking the same thing. The current model of basing research off of research in a sterile lab doesn't often allow for the magic spark moment!

Go Jack! Does anyone else see the synchronicity? Jack is an inventor like Steve Jobs. Develops a test that would have saved him (as a teen in his garage!)

Ok maybe up the garage part! But I'm getting the chills over this. Anyway - I think this is awesome. And big pharma better not get there hands on this! I think PC is the third most prevalent cancer.

B626 said...

Yes let's see how high Big Medicine jacks up the price of this test.
Do you know how many appointments/treatments $$ oncologists will lose over this??

Anna Nonymous said...

Wow! This is amazing! What am wonderful young guy, I wish him all the happiness, fulfillment, and success in the world. This is such a nice way to start the day.

donner said...

How amazing is this! And for all their research, how did no one in the professional field already create this test?

And we all thank you for not writing about Blohan yet.

Fairmaiden327 said...

Damn you, LOL!

LottaColada said...

@JSierra, that's terrible. My condolences go out to you. That's why this is such a great story. What so many people said couldn't be done was accomplished by a teenager.

dia papaya said...

JSierra - oh honey. I'm so sorry. What a beautiful tribute! See must have been a very special person and I'm glad she had great friends and family with her at the end. She's safe and at peace with the angels now.

Trey said...

How does the test mean there's a 100% survival rate? I don't have much familiarity with this type of cancer, is it completely curable if it's caught early?

Maximus said...

HANDS OFF, BIG PHARMA

/optimism

Maximus said...

That said, kudos to this kid. Amazing amazing stuff.

dia papaya said...

@lotta - Perfectly said! Just perfect!

Lets encourage more young peeps to focus on science and math and less on Blohan, KK, etc. I never want to read about that trick again!

Agent**It said...

Good for him. Here's the June 2012 Forbes article.Big pharma people, Forbes reporting on it before gossip picks it up is interesting.
http://www.forbes.com/sites/bruceupbin/2012/06/18/wait-did-this-15-year-old-from-maryland-just-change-cancer-treatment/

Snapdragon said...

F*CK YEAH, SCIENCE!

maggs said...

I'm surprised he hasn't had an "accident". Big Pharma makes more money off sick people with cancer than curing them. Cancer sucks. RIP Mom, Bro & Gram

Frufra said...

Sweet J, so so sorry for your loss. I lost my grandfather to pancreatic cancer, so I've seen how quickly and brutally it ravages a person.

Know that your friend is whole again now, happy and at peace. Hugs to you and your family.

ReesesPeace said...

Absolutely amazing kid!! Wow!!

@JSierra, sending you tight hugs. I'm so very sorry for your loss.

Vkn said...

Big pharma will buy this and destroy it

prolixe said...

So wonderful!

*karen* said...

@JSierra, sorry about your friend!

I'm only slightly embarrassed that my first thought was about how this could have saved Patrick Swayze a few years ago.

#stillcrazyforswayze

Layna Day said...

Stories like this further illustrates that while this world isn't perfect, it's worth fighting for. How wonderful that this young man is sharing his gift with us. He should be very proud of himself.

Kara said...

Frufa!

I love that link. His face is awesome. Such joy.

Thank you!

dia papaya said...

Just watched the video that Agent posted. That little dude is more excited than anyone I've ever seen. He's also extremely articulate and can easily explain complex ideas to the layperson (us dummies!)

He thought up this genius in Biology class and the worked with someone at Johns Hopkins to develop it. AND while he chose to focus on Pancreatic Cancer he says it can also detect Ovarian and Lung Cancers.

Guess we are breaking through into the new age of preventative medicine. If only Big Pharma could channel their resources into keeping us healthy - life would be a lot better for all.

Dianne P said...

Pancreatic cancer is not a big money earner for pharma because the number of patients is still relatively small but most importantly, because patients with PC do not stay alive that long (< 1 year from diagnosis) and there are not that many effective treatment options. This is in contrast with something like breast cancer, which people can live with for years, and which often involve people taking multiple medications. Most people with PC already have advanced/metastatic disease when they are diagnosed. It's possible that identifying more people in the early stages of PC would increase the number of patients diagnosed and lengthen the amount of time people were on therapy, leading to increased $$ for pharma.

Generally, though, when the medical community talks about the potential for turning cancer into a "chronic disease" you know that the biopharma industry is licking its chops.

My mom died from PC almost 35 years ago and it is shocking how little progress has been made in diagnosis and treatment since then. I am the same now as when she was diagnosed and I live in fear that I will get it and not know because of the lack of effective screening and early diagnosis options. This kid's contribution is huge.

dia papaya said...

PS - forgot to mention he focused on PC bc his uncle died from it and he wanted to make a difference.

timebob said...

Lost my dad to pancreatic cancer also, but he didn't have any symptoms until it had spread and there was nothing to be done. But some chemo and hope. Life expectancy is 9-10 months from diagnosis. He had 9 months. From what I know of it some do survive if caught early with the Whipple procedure but even with that average life expectancy is only 5 years.

But I hope this will help people in the future.

prolixe said...
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ABlake said...

This is where the internet does some good, spreading the word about something like this! Amazing

pancreatic cancer is like receiving a death sentence, anyone and everyone should be interested in taking this test. Good on you Jack. good on you

Agent**It said...

Dis,what a great family as well. Encouragement!!!

JoElla said...

Huge hugs to everyone here. Cancer is a horrid beast.

Stories like this warms my heart and soul! So young, such talent, and less crap and political bullshit to cloud his work!! (medical political)

mae reeves said...

Wow, just had one of my patients diagnosed with metastic pancreatic cancer yesterday and now has months to live.

dia papaya said...

Dude already has a Wikipedia page. What a motivated guy and family! Excerpt from there...

He then contacted 200 professors at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health with a plan, a budget, and timeline for his project in order to receive laboratory help. He had received nearly 200 rejection emails before he got a positive reply from Dr. Anirban Maitra, Professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.[7]

Prof. Maitra is very enthusiastic about Andraka's future. He told the Baltimore Sun "You're going to read about him a lot in the years to come... What I tell my lab is, 'Think of Thomas Edison and the light bulb.' This kid is the Edison of our times. There are going to be a lot of light bulbs coming from him."[2]

Jack's older brother, Luke, won $96,000 in prizes at the Intel ISEF in 2010, with a project that examined how acid mine drainage affected the environment. In 2011, Luke won an MIT THINK Award (Technology for Humanity guided by Innovation, Networking, and Knowledge), which recognizes students whose science projects benefit their communities.[2]

The boys' father, Steve Andraka, is a civil engineer. Their mother, Jane Andraka, is an anesthetist. She told the Sun "... we're not a super-athletic family. We don't go to much football or baseball." "Instead we have a million [science] magazines [and] sit around the table and talk about how people came up with their ideas and what we would do differently."[8]

evergrey said...

Yay for humanity!

Mala Propism said...

The thing is? He doesn't want to be a "kazillionaire" - he plans on *giving* the process to labs like Quest diagnostics so it can be performed at the 3-5¢ cost.
And like @Dia said? It can be applied to other markers for things like ovarian cancer (another one that isn't usually detected until it is advanced.)

Our future looks brighter when you see that kids like Steve are less concerned with becoming wealthy hipsters and more concerned with solving the world's problems.

prolixe said...
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Mary said...

As a survivor of pancreatic cancer, can I get a big fat helping of AMEN?!!?

Sherry said...

Ya know B26, the cynic in me thought the same thing. Big Pharma must be pissed that they can't say it's a huge cost due to "research". In fact, I'm surprised they didn't try to squelch the information. And if this hs no flaws then he deserves a Nobel Prize. Wouldn't that be awesome?!! And to say he just wants to help people and not focus on the financial aspect shows what a wonderful young man he is and how great his parents are.

JSierra, my condolences on your loss. Sending a hug to you and everyone else here who have lost a friend/family member to cancer of any kind.

lc said...

Yay to his parents and yay to his teachers who encouraged him.
We do need to steer our children away from the Kardashians, who do nothing and LiLo who gets in trouble and nothing ever happens to her. This young man is who our young kids (I have an 8 yr old).need to be looking to as role models. Not Swifty, Biebs, or Teenage Moms.

JSierra said...

Thanks, my thoughts go out to Mayor Timebob, Dianne P, Frufra and all those who have had to suffer a loss due to this disease. Hopefully this will change a PC diagnosis from a death sentence to merely a bump in the road.

Mary congratulations on your health! You must be a mighty strong woman, I know the battle isn't easy. Keep on keepin on!

Sis said...

That is so cool! What an awesome young person to think outside himself and look what he came up with...so proud of him!

When it gets to Quest Diagnostics...does this mean anyone can go into Quest Diagnostics and ask for the test(s) to be given? Now that would also be fantastic!

Tuxedo Cat said...

Kid Power! This is wonderful news.

Jacq said...

+1

hotchacha said...

This is outstanding. Yay for the world!

Think for Free said...

i love these kinds of news :) how incredible and inspiring!

crila16 said...

Wow...child genius. This stick costs 3 cents to make, but they'll sell it for $50 bucks.

nessa said...

@vip you KNOW they're gonna get their grubby little hands on this and make it super expensive :/

Ingrid Superstar said...

When I was his age I was masturbating vigorously to the Spice Channel, so good for him!

Mango said...

I was going to post what VIPBlonde said - Big Pharma doesn't like cheap. I hope the test stays cheap cheap cheap so it's done with routine blood tests and the disease can be caught early.

@ prolixe - Comparing Jack Andraka to that mouth breather Bieber is like comparing chalk and cheese.

Alma said...

Hell yeah! Let's give the 20 million Taylor Swift is getting for coke and give it to this kid. Wait, how old is he? She'll get to him in a minute.

Seriously, when you look at the asinine salaries dumb hos get to pretend to be awesome. Here is an actual awesome person that deserves the millions.

Janet296 said...

Kick ass! Just imagine what he will go on to do. Of course, he will be so rich that he won't have to do anything.

luckylass said...

This is wonderful on many levels. I have just a few thoughts from reading the comments.

He developed his test from what others have found and researched before him. Science builds upon what has previously been discovered.

"Research" does not belong in quotes. It is real, it is labor intensive, and is expensive. Those PhD's that are working with pathogens, cancer cells, animals, carcinogenic chemicals, etc... all need to get paid for their time (and most of you make more money/hr). All those things they work with, in addition to maintaining a sterile work environment, is crazy expensive. Believe me, I am not a fan of Big Pharma, and all that they do (or fail to do), but someone does have to pay for the research costs.

To put it into perspective, just one research grade light microscope that I would use to see pathogens (like E. coli and MRSA) would cost at least $110k. That does not include the lifetime cost of cleaning and maintaining the unit either.

KLM said...

Big hugs to everyone out there who has lost someone to the big C... This kid has such a bright future, it is really exciting to think about what he is capable of...

Jessie said...

See guys, the next generation will be just fine.

All about Eve said...

That's so wonderful to hear!

Little Miss Smoke and Mirrors said...

Unfortunately, no one will get to take the test until the medical community will try to figure out a way to charge $3000 for this 3-cent test.

Bravo to the kid, though. My cold black heart needs to hear more of these stories.

Margaux said...

How exciting! Get those test kits in every supermarket and chemist at once!

witwritergirl said...

I'm super happy to read this. My father has pancreatic cancer -1year in remission. While too late for him , it's a test my siblings and I can take advantage of.

dia papaya said...

Prolixe- where do you live? I'm sorta kinda near the main office in Hillsboro.

prolixe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
g.strathmore said...

Great job, kid! Thank goodness for people like you.

Agent**It said...

lucklass,interesting info.

Lissa said...

So nice to read about something so positive. Thanks for posting Enty!

NL said...

bahaha - I think I was with you, Ingrid.