Scottsdale company developing easy cancer test

Posted at 6:43 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-05 22:17:15-05

A Valley biotech company says it has found a way to test for cancer with just a prick of the finger and a 10-minute blood test.

Beacon Biomedical CEO Donald Weber says one drop of blood is all you need.  When you add the right chemicals in a tester that fits in the palm of your hand, you can find a protein called Cripto-1.  Years of research shows Cripto-1 spikes in concentration when cancer starts attacking your body.

“That's what we are developing right now: the specific cutoff points to colon cancer, for breast cancer,” said Weber.

Weber calls his test Colo-RT. 

“Unlike genetics, where there is a propensity of risk, we are talking about real time presence,” Weber said.

Weber believes doctors will use this kind of early cancer test on people who delay or refuse to undergo uncomfortable diagnostic exams like mammograms and colonoscopies. 

“Our goal is to focus in on the ones who are - quite honestly- dying because they've never really been screened,” Weber said.  He says traditional cancer screening and imaging tests would still be needed to identify the exact location of a cancerous tumor.

He expects the cost of each Colo-RT test to be less than $75, and he wants them to be available in regular doctor offices and health clinics.

Weber has grants from the National Institutes of Health and the Arizona Innovation Challenge.  He plans to start clinical trials soon, hoping to make testing for cancer as easy as testing for pregnancy.

For more information on the Colo-RT test, go to the Beacon Biomedical website.