Cancer DNA’s affinity to gold paves way for new detection test

February 5, 2019 0 By FM

Abu Ali Ibn Sina et al have found a novel method for detecting cancer by exploiting the methylscape biomarker found in cancer types, which allows higher DNA-gold affinity compared to the normal genome. The foundation of the research was based on the difference in solvation property of normal and cancer epigenomes. Methylcytosines found in cancer epigenomes give them a methylation landscape (methylscape). These methylcytosines have a higher affinity towards gold than regular cytosines which tend to aggregate in aqueous solution due to hydrophobic property of methylcytosines. The study was performed on a large cohort of over 200 human samples from cell-lines representing various cancer types. Using electrochemical and colorimetric techniques, the simplified test could enable detection of the biomarker through naked eyes. The test claims to detect cancer in less than 10 minutes as a non-invasive cancer detection method from plasma with high specificity. Researchers proclaim that methylscape in its current form is only able to determine the presence of disease and a detailed analysis is required to fully understand the type, stage and disease recurrence.

Source: Nature Communications volume 9, Article number: 4915 (2018) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-018-07214-w 04 December 2018