In 2012, when 15-year old Jack Andraka’s uncle died of pancreatic cancer, he decided to look into it. He found that the current test for pancreatic cancer was over 60 years old, cost over $800, and wasn’t very reliable.
For this reason over 85% of pancreatic cancer cases were detected too late, when the chances of survival were only 2%.
As a bright and inspired young mind, Jack was able to devise a far better testing procedure, which he took to the researchers at Johns Hopkins University.
The result is a new dipstick-type diagnostic test that uses a paper sensor, similar to that of the diabetic test strip. This strip tests for cancer biomarkers in blood or urine, is over 90% accurate and only costs 3 cents per test.