Nanotech-based innovative prostate cancer test helps bypass unneeded painful biopsies

Nanotechnology makes the headlines again, this time saving men from painful biopsies for aggressive prostate cancer diagnosis.

Who, Where and What- Researchers of the Alberta Prostate Cancer Research Initiative (APCaRI) in Alberta, Canada developed a highly sensitive blood test that incorporates an exceptional nanotechnology platform to diagnose aggressive prostate cancer using only a single drop of blood.

How- The test, called Extracellular Vesicle Fingerprint Predictive Score (EV-FPS), uses artificial intelligence to combine information from millions of cancer cell nanoparticles in the blood to identify the unique fingerprint of aggressive prostate cancer.

The diagnostic was appraised in 377 Albertan men who had received urologist referrals for suspected prostate cancer. EV-FPS identified men with the aggressive disease 40% more precisely than the widespread test in use nowadays- the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA) test.

“For this kind of test you want the sensitivity to be as high as possible because you don’t want to miss a single cancer that should be treated,” said John Lewis, the Alberta Cancer Foundation’s Frank and Carla Sojonky Chair of Prostate Cancer Research at the University of Alberta.


University of Alberta prostate cancer researcher Dr. John Lewis, left, and graduate student Srijan Raha in their lab.  Image credit: University of Alberta


Why- The team points out that current screening tests like PSA and digital rectal exam (DRE) often pave way for unneeded biopsies. Lewis believes half the men undergoing biopsy do not have prostate cancer and yet have to endure biopsy-associated pain and side effects such as infection or sepsis. Fewer than 20% of men undergoing prostate biopsy are those diagnosed with the aggressive form of prostate cancer; the cohort that could most benefit from treatment. From a larger perspective, we’re all aware of the load on hospitals and doctors around the world. Successful implementation of the EV-FPS could potentially put an end to about 600,000 unnecessary biopsies, 24,000 hospitalizations and about 50% unnecessary treatments for prostate cancer each year in North America alone. Most importantly, the new diagnostic will have an enormous positive affect on the quality of life and healthcare experience for men and their families.

The team plans to bring the test from bench side to market through University of Alberta spin-off company Nanostics Inc.

Personal Opinion- If this test for aggressive prostate cancer proves successful and viable, the research team may extend its implementation to the diagnosis of other aggressive cancer types.

Post Reference:


Ground-breaking drug cocktail exterminates breast cancer tumor within 11 days


Adapted from
Adapted from







A breakthrough cancer therapy destroys deadly tumors in a mere 11 days. Less than 2 weeks and the highly dreaded, life-threatening disease is uprooted.

This “astonishing” news was the outcome of a study funded by Cancer Research UK and conducted by the University of Manchester and the University Hospital of South Manchester NHS Foundation.

Trials showed a substantial decrease in tumor size, and in some cases, complete disappearance. Professor Nigel Bundred, professor of surgical oncology at the University of Manchester and lead researcher of this experiment admitted, “For solid tumors to disappear in 11 days is unheard of. These are mind boggling results.”  Continue reading “Ground-breaking drug cocktail exterminates breast cancer tumor within 11 days”

A Mammoth Discovery…

Creatures in the animal kingdom, from tiny ones like wasps to the largest mammals on earth, the elephants, possess characteristic defence mechanisms against one of the most deadly and, unfortunately, common illnesses: cancer.

In my previous blog post , I wrote about Brazilian wasps having a protein (Polybia-MP1) that could help fight cancer.

In this post, I focus on the descendants of the mammoth: elephants.

Now cancer patients are rarely elephants even though by convention, they should be extremely cancer-prone. The theory behind this is that every time a cell divides, the DNA divides. Every time a DNA divides, there is a chance for mutation(s), which paves the path for formation of cancerous cells. So every time a cell divides, an organism is a step closer to mutated DNA and since larger animals have more cells, theoretically they should have more chances for mutation and hence, cancer.

Therefore, the massive elephant should have cancer more often than humans. But that is not in the case.  Continue reading “A Mammoth Discovery…”

Amaz(ing)on inhabitant contributes to potential cancer therapy

Read an intriguing article related to my field of study, that can be accessed at:

It talks about the Brazilian wasp, Polybia Paulista, harbouring venom that assaults cancerous cells. The best part: it leaves normal cells alone. Doesn’t bother them. Continue reading “Amaz(ing)on inhabitant contributes to potential cancer therapy”

A spark by the hamster in the mind

My first ever blog post. As a Biotechnology major and having just started my Honors project, a hamster is slowly but continuously running on the wheel in the back of my head; generating potential ideas in biotech I could study and explore as part of my project. The spark came to me on a seemingly lazy day: a particular herb I know of. Continue reading “A spark by the hamster in the mind”