​15-Year-Old: Pancreatic Cancer Test Kit 90 Percent Accurate

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May 25, 2012

Jack Andraka, 15, attended the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to try for the $100,000 prize money. Andraka created a pancreatic cancer test kit that has 90 percent accurate, cheaper than other tests for early stage, as it detects an abnormal blood protein.

He is currently a freshman at North County High School in Maryland. You can ask him one question, and he’ll respond with an educational response. He’s quite interesting.

“It detects an abnormal protein that you find in the blood when you have a pancreatic cancer,” said Dr. Anirban Maitra, professor of Pathology, Oncology and Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine to CBS affiliate WJZ-13. “He conceived this idea, and I think the fact that he is 15 makes this whole story more remarkable.”

This year alone approximately 44,000 people will be diagnosed with this form of cancer and 74 percent of them will not make it through one year.

“I got interested in early detection because that’s the best chance of treating cancer,” Andraka said. “The only practical way of doing this is through routine blood tests so that’s what I developed here.”

Andraka plans to use his prize money for his college expenses.

The first runner-up was Nicholas Schiefer of Pickering, Ontario in Canada; he invented a “microsearch” technology that can browse through tiny bits of information such as Facebook status updates and tweets. He received $50,000 for his effort; however, his project could turn out to be worth millions.