UCF Researchers Discover Accurate Early Cancer Test that uses $1 worth of Gold Nanoparticles

ORLANDO, Fla. (April 8, 2015) — A University of Central Florida research team and local startup company are developing a new and improved way to detect cancer early with a screening test that uses a drop of blood, about $1 worth of gold nanoparticles, and produces results in just minutes.

Dr. QunHuo, associate professor in the NanoScience Technology Center at the University of Central Florida and CEO of NanoDiscovery, Inc. reported her team’s findings last month in the onlineedition of ACS Applied Materials& Interfaces, a publication of the American Chemical Society forresearch results demonstrating hownewly-discovered materials and interfacial processes can be developed and usedfor specific applications.

Dr. Huo said the UCF team’s test could lead the way to a universal screening test for early cancer detection and risk assessment.

In two Defense Department studies at the Florida Hospital Cancer Institute, the UCF team focused on prostate cancer, a relatively common disease with well known characteristics.

The best Protein-Specific Antigen Test (PAT) for prostate cancer is far from accurate, often leading to unnecessary and expensive biopsies.

“Most studies today are attempting to identify tumor-specific antigens and detect antibodies specific to them,” Dr. Huo explained.

The UCF team discovered that tumor-fighting autoantibodies quickly attach to the surface of molecule-size gold nanoparticles, where they can be detected quickly and unerringly with specialized equipment.

While the UCF team’s new test doesn’t identify which type of cancer induces those autoantibodies, Dr. Huo believes the test could become a universal “gold standard” test to tell doctors that cancer is present and point to further tests to find and locate any tumors.

That means the earliest possible cancer detection, when treatment costs are lowest, patient stress is the least, and results most effective.

A simple, easy, low-cost test to accurately detect cancer at its earliest stage could offer enormous benefits worldwide, Dr. Huo reasons.

Nano Discovery, Inc. is a client company of the UCF Business Incubation Program located at Central Florida Research Park in East Orange County.

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Dr. Treen Huo, Ph.D., CEO, Nano Discovery, Inc. 407-882-2845  Qun.Huo@ucf.edu
Carol Ann Dykes, Sire Manager, UCF Business Incubation Program, 407-207-7426 carolann.dykes@ucf.edu
Larry Vershel or Beth Payan, Larry Vershel Communications Inc. 407-644-4142 Lvershelco@aol.com

About the UCF Business Incubation Program: 
The University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program is a community resource that provides early-stage companies with the tools, training and infrastructure to become financially stable, high growth / impact enterprises.   Since 1999, this award-winning program has helped hundreds of local startup companies reach their potential faster by providing vital business development resources.

With seven facilities throughout the region, the UCF Business Incubation Program is an economic development partnership between the University of Central Florida, the Corridor, Orange, Osceola, Seminole and Volusia Counties, and the cities of Apopka, Kissimmee, Orlando and Winter Springs.  Participating companies sustain more than 3,600 local jobs and have had a total impact of $1.518 on regional sales and $2.488 on regional economic output.  During the last fiscal year, the program has returned $7.95 for every $1.00 invested in the program.
For more information, visit www.incubator.ucf.edu.