Worms to sniff out your cancer!


In yet another case of serendipitous discovery leading to novel science, researchers have now been able to show that worms (sushi parasites) are quite accurate at diagnosing cancer from urine samples.

This research was ideated and initiated when lead scientist, Hitedo Sonada from Kyushu University, Japan noticed that a 63-year old patient had roundworm larvae in his digestive tract. These round worm larvae had attached to a small lesion on the man’s stomach that turned out to be in the early stages of gastric cancer. Following this, the researchers investigated if cancer lesions had a specific odour that attracted the roundworms to it.

Cancer detectors (Image: Sinclair Stammers/SPL)Cancer detectors (Image: Sinclair Stammers/SPL)

With 96 % accuracy the roundworm larvae were able to correctly diagnose cancer from urine samples of cancer patients. This is even better than a blood test. What is more interesting is that, worms successfully identified cancer in nine different types of cancer they…

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