What the World is Coming To: Teen's Pancreatic Cancer Diagnostic Wins $75,000 Intel Prize

Jack Andraka, 15, won top prize at this year's Intel International Science and Engineering fair for his new method to detect pancreatic cancer. As the Intel press release notes: 

Based on diabetic test paper, Jack created a simple dip-stick sensor to test blood or urine to determine whether or not a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer. His study resulted in over 90 percent accuracy and showed his patent-pending sensor to be 28 times faster, 28 times less expensive and over 100 times more sensitive than current tests. Jack received the Gordon E. Moore Award, named in honor of Intel co-founder and retired chairman and CEO of $75,000.

The Washington Post adds that a patent is pending for the test. Andraka's test is a true dianostic breakthrough since there are currently no non-invasive tests for detecting pancreatic cancer. Early detection of this cancer would be a boon to patients since the five-year survival rate for localized pancreatic cancer is 23 percent. While that doesn't sound great, it's a hell of a lot better than the 5 percent overall five-year survival rate for patients diagnosed with the disease. 

Hearty congratulations to Mr. Andraka and also to the other 400 participants who won prizes in the competition. 

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Hugh Akston||

    You know, just once I would like to see a science award go to someone who hasn't invented a new use for peeing on things.

  • db||

    Just wait until the German awards are announced.

  • ||

    You know, just once I would like to see a science award go to someone who hasn't invented a new use for peeing on things.

    Wow, you sound pissed . . .

  • ||

    Wow, you sound pissed . . .

    He's been drinking.

  • ||

    He's been drinking.

    I was trying to be punny, but I think it got lost in the translation.

  • ||

    "pissed" is a number 1 synonym for drunk.

  • Brandon||

    In fucking Britain, maybe, but not here, where we speak English.

  • ||

    Unlike those Brits who speak a mongrel blend of old French and older German, eh?

  • ||

    Hopefully the FDA will throw up enough regulatory roadblocks to make sure this thing languishes around for a few years before it's allowed to go to market.

  • ||

    Ah, thanks for answering my question.

  • NoVAHockey||

    sounds like he needs a good lobbyist.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Obama needs to stop this new test thingy ASAP.

    Just think how many people it will put out of work.

  • ||

    That is fucking awesome. Pancreatic cancer is one of the very worst and deadliest. Anything to improve the survival rate is big news.

    Now, how does the government prevent this from benefiting society?

  • ||

    Pancreatic cancer is one of the very worst and deadliest.

    Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg is still alive and kicking.

  • db||

    Aren't there two major types of pancreatic cancer--one very lethal and the other less lethal (in the Taser sense of course)?

  • ||

    You win a Kewpie doll.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    Garbielle Giffords survived being shot in the head. The fact you can point to occasional survivors doesn't mean something isn't generally fatal.

  • ||

    Yes, and also Steve Jobs had pancreatic cancer, the more agressive and kill you kind. Which I would prefer Justice Ginsburg to have, rather than the late Jobs. I will include the elusive /sarc tag next time.

    Quite frankly, I'm convinced the woman is part cockroach or related to Keith Richards, who are both notorious for their ability to survive things that would fell lesser beings.

  • ||

    It was my understanding that Jobs had one of the rare kinds that did have high survival rates and he died because he decided to use alternative medicine.

  • Trbbrs||

    Yeah, but it was the good Pancreatic.

  • ||

    "Now, how does the government prevent this from benefiting society?"

    Dontcha know plan A yet? Call themselves "society" and ----- ---- the real entity. Geez, man!

  • ||

    Give the kid a break, Hugh. He's a teenager and needed some excuse for playing with his dong.

  • ||

    He's a teenager and needed some excuse for playing with his dong.

    If there's one thing a teenage boy doesn't need, it's an excuse for playing with his dick. Accidentally stumbling across mom's Good Housekeeping while looking for the remote is reason enough. Naturally, I speak from experience.

  • ||

    a patent is pending for the test.

    I hope this patent makes this kid mindbogglingly rich.

  • kinnath||

    75K is nothing to sneeze at.

  • TomJB||

    At that point, has he earned enough money?

  • Hugh Akston||

    At which point I'm sure Rockstar Consortium will come along and sue him into oblivion.

  • fish||

    I hope this patent makes this kid mindbogglingly rich.

    Sure you like him now Joshua....wait till he tries to flee the country with his ill gotten gains....then we'll see how you feel!

    God bless that Charles Schumer!

  • Aresen||

    Chuck Schumer will probably have the kid up in front of some committee to explain 'WHY DIDN'T YOU DETECT THE OTHER 10%?'

    And then propose a regulation that the test cannot be used until it is 100% accurate.

  • ||

    When did he quite his job and join the EPA?

  • db||

    Fucking kids these days. All they know is the Nintendo and the rainbow parties and the drugs.

  • JW||

    Winner.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Way to go, Jack Andraka. It was nice to see a story about someone who used their knowledge and creativity for something positive. The kid obviously understands that the best solutions are often the simplest and cheapest.

  • Raston Bot||

    good thing we have patent law or he never would have invented it!

  • yonemoto||

    exactly, I judged the fair this year and this girl came up with a really awesome (and cheap) way of delivering Ag+ antibiotic for burn victims, and wanted to market it to the 3rd world. I told her, you patent it, forget about it helping the third world.

  • Raston Bot||

    Her dad probably hates you right now.

  • ||

    According to 60 Minutes, critics of Peter Thiel’s $100,000 prize to drop out of college and become entrepreneurs might claim that Andraka should forget about his clever idea and better get in college and finish a degree or he’s setting himself up for a lifetime of failure.

  • Apple||

    Good for him! My sister-in-law met this kid when my nephew was presenting at a science fair in Houston a couple weeks ago. Pancreatic cancer has devistated my wife's side of the family so she absolutely flipped out when she heard his presentation and chased him down to talk his ear off. Really impressive.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Kid's on a learner's permit...

  • WWNGD?||

    and you see this is why we need the government to do the research.

  • JEP||

    This can't be right. The government wasn't involved in this innovation AT ALL.

  • ||

    Not true. He attends the public North County High School. Despite that, the kid has been overachieving for a while.

  • Agammamon||

    Wait a minute, did the development of this thing involve beakers and flasks and whatnot?

    This is, like, biological experimentations man. Where the fuck was the DHS?

  • scareduck||

    We'll never know, I expect, but I wonder if this would have saved Steve Jobs' life.

  • Juice||

    So now we're all on board for intellectual property.

  • robc||

    all?

  • ahd||

    it would be helpful to know a little more about the test before you can judge whether it will make a good screening tool. the intel press release says it's "100 times" more sensitive than any current test. pancreatic cancer is rare (though deadly) and if the test is not specific (most screening tests aren't), then the question becomes, what do you do with a positive result? how many healthy people with no disease will test positive and have to undergo invasive or expensive further testing? as PSA testing has shown us, undergoing a sensitive early detection test is not necessarily a life-saving intervention. at the very least, it's not an open-and-shut case. this kid's innovation is obviously pretty amazing, but time and more research will tell whether it will have practical or life-saving benefits.

  • ||

    Amazing; a truly great young man. Gives me hope that the naysayers will lose in the end.

  • John Galt||

    dianostic

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

GET REASON MAGAZINE

Get Reason's print or digital edition before it’s posted online

  • Progressive Puritans: From e-cigs to sex classifieds, the once transgressive left wants to criminalize fun.
  • Port Authoritarians: Chris Christie’s Bridgegate scandal
  • The Menace of Secret Government: Obama’s proposed intelligence reforms don’t safeguard civil liberties

SUBSCRIBE

advertisement