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  • (Video Presenter): And, the winner of the 75,000 dollar 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award

  • in the category of Medicine and Health Sciences,

  • (Cheers) (Applause)

  • the grand prize winner, Jack Thomas Andraka.

  • (Cheers) (Applause)

  • (Trumpets) (Applause)

  • And, now, ladies and gentlemen,

  • (Applause)

  • it is my honor to present to you the top award winners

  • of 2012 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Applause)

  • (Laughter)

  • Jack Andraka: So there I am.

  • No, that was the entire talk, bye.

  • We have been talking a lot about this thing called cancer.

  • It's really near and dear to all of us.

  • But, imagine a world without cancer.

  • What if there was a sensor that was like a diabetes test strip

  • that could detect cancer for less than 3 cents in 5 minutes.

  • Imagine a 168 times faster, over 26,000 times less expensive,

  • and over 400 times more sensitive.

  • Well, I created such a strip.

  • Basically, I was motivated to do this

  • because I had a close family member that passed due to pancreatic cancer.

  • It's a really devastating disease. It's the death sentence basically.

  • You can see that, after 5 years,

  • only 5.5 percent of people who are initially diagnosed, will survive.

  • That is a staggering statistics.

  • Why as a society that is so technologically advanced --

  • should this statistic be acceptable to us.

  • So, then, I got really interested and I started doing a bit of research.

  • What I found is that there are these certain proteins.

  • They are found in your blood at higher concentrations

  • when you have pancreatic cancer.

  • I was looking at one, called mesothelin.

  • It's highly overexpressed by pancreatic cancer as well as [at] the early stages.

  • Where, if you can find it in those stages, then it has close to a 100% survival rate

  • rather than 5.5%.

  • But, also a main problem with our current diagnostic test

  • for pancreatic cancer -- it's grossly inaccurate.

  • It diagnoses like, for example, inflamation of your pancreas.

  • That to me is unacceptable.

  • A 70% sensitivity and less than that for specificity --

  • [Which] means it gives tons of false positives and false negatives.

  • So then, through these really cool things called carbon nanotubes --

  • They are the superheros of material science.

  • There are these atom-thick tube of carbon and they have these fantastic properties.

  • So, I am super interested in that.

  • I began formulating an idea in unlikely place, biology class.

  • We were learning about antibodies which are basically lock and key molecules

  • that bind specifically to a certain protein.

  • In this case, the cancer biomarker, mesothelin.

  • Then, I had an idea. I was reading this paper

  • in biology class -- about carbon nanotubes --

  • I knew about this protein, mesothelin, and we were learning about antibodies.

  • It is kind of like a connect-the-dots puzzle where you form a draft

  • where in this case it is like a sensor.

  • So, here is the idea I came up with.

  • You have a network of the single walled carbon nanotubes and antibodies.

  • What happens is -- when you put a blood sample

  • that contains that target protein in it on this network,

  • that protein will go into the network and form a larger molecule with that antibody.

  • This causes an electrical change in the sensor.

  • I can actually measure this with a 50 dollar ohmmeter from Home Depot.

  • And it is really easy to produce.

  • All you do is to create uniform dispersion out of these.

  • You mix it up with these carbon nanotubes and this antibody.

  • You just dip stick that is like a piece of filter paper.

  • It's really, really simple.

  • Then, you dry it and you use it for a certain time.

  • That's not that hard.

  • You just measure it with this 50 dollar ohmmeter.

  • It requires less than a sixth of the drop of blood.

  • It is a tiny prick to your finger.

  • What you have to do for detecting a disease such as pancreatic cancer [is] --

  • when a protein is overexpressed you have to set a cutoff level.

  • If it's above this, then, it's at an abnormally high level.

  • If't is below that, then, it's kind of normal and you are OK.

  • So, I choose mine as 10 nano grams per mL.

  • A nano gram is a tiny amount.

  • Think it of as one billionth.

  • So, pretty small.

  • Then, essentially what I did is, I had to test whether my sensor was actualy working.

  • I took about 100 patients

  • who had pancreatic cancer ranging in its stage.

  • You can see they are all above this 20 ng.

  • That's well above the 10 ng per mL cutoff.

  • So, I had a 100 percent sensitivity.

  • Them, I had negative cancer samples, healthy patients.

  • People who did not have pancreatic cancer, maybe some other condition.

  • Those are all below 10 ng for mL.

  • That means that is not giving any false positives or any false negatives.

  • That means a 100% accuracy as [its] diagnosis.

  • This has the potential to save thusands of lives,

  • reshaping how we think of cancer diagnostics.

  • In addition to this, what happens is this -- also I found we could look at

  • how effective a chemotherapeutic treatment or a regimen

  • as well as how effective your surgery is.

  • You can see it here that

  • for each of different chemotherapeutic drugs -- I tested five on mouse models --

  • they all have different levels of mesothelin.

  • So, you could effectively see how effective your cancer drug treatment is.

  • You could look at drug resistance, for example.

  • With this, I have created a sensor that can detect pancreatic cancer.

  • It is very simple. It is very rapid -- taking 5 minutes for 3 cents.

  • It's non invasible. It's sensitive and selective.

  • But in addition, compared to the current gold standard of pancreatic cancer detection,

  • it is a 168 times faster,

  • over 26,000 times less expensive and over 400 times more sensitive.

  • That is not actually, including -- that you need specific practice

  • like a university training in order to conduct that gold standard,

  • as well as it requires this expensive bulky machine to read this thing called ELISA.

  • Whilst mine, it's a 50 dollar ohmmeter from Home Depot.

  • Also, the protein I am detecting, called mesothelin,

  • it is overexpressed in both ovarian and lung cancer.

  • Through this sensor, [that] is a generic sensor for those two cancers,

  • but also implications are that certain protein is found in 40 different types of cancer.

  • This sensor, is detecting nearly every form of cancer.

  • This has limitless applications.

  • What happens is you just change this antibody in the sensor,

  • you can detect anything, any protein.

  • That means other forms of cancer, other diseases

  • such as E Coli, Rotavirus, Salmonella, and those HIV, AIDS.

  • All those cancers and diseases are plague us.

  • Thusands, millions, billions of lives can be saved with this technology.

  • Also, it can look at how effective our treatment is.

  • So, this will reshape how we think of medicine.

  • We will now have a simple diabetic test strip

  • that can detect your disease in 5 minutes for 3 cents,

  • but also tell you how to optimally cure the disease and treat it.

  • And, so -- Oh, two slides are missing.

  • My final conclusion, what I am leaving you with,

  • is that I am not the only one who can do this.

  • Anyone can.

  • It just took me 200 emails and a bunch of hardwork to do it,

  • but that is a different story.

  • But, you just have to ask yourself.

  • Imagine a world -- or what if --

  • you can become like me and hopefully have a very happy running up to a stage.

  • Thank you.

  • (Applause)

(Video Presenter): And, the winner of the 75,000 dollar 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award

Subtitles and vocabulary

B1 INT US cancer pancreatic pancreatic cancer sensor protein carbon

【TEDx】A World Without Cancer - Jack Andraka at TEDxRedmond 2012

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