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Jack Andraka, 15, develops revolutionary early detection method for pancreatic cancer

Fifteen-year-old Jack Andraka has just developed a revolutionary new test for early-stage pancreatic cancer. The method is reported to be not only the most inexpensive medical test ever devised, but also one of the most effective. 

You've probably seen Andraka's name last month, when he won Intel’s prestigious Gordon E. Moore Award  at the Intel Science and Engineering Fair, the world’s largest high school research and science competition. He's been busy creating a simple dip-stick sensor to test for levels of mesothelin, which is a biomarker for early-stage pancreatic cancer found in blood and urine.

The method is similar to diabetic testing strips, requiring just a drop of blood and costing just three cents to produce.

Jack Andraka was moved by the frustrating realities of pancreatic cancer, a particularly lethal form of the disease, after a family friend passed away from it. 

Early detection could bump up survival rates dramatically, edging them "close to 100 percent" according to Andraka. And given that pancreatic cancer is a disease that kills around 40,000 people each year, that's a lot of people affected.

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