Tokyo: Japanese multinational Hitachi and Kyushu University hope to develop a new low-cost test to detect cancer in one hour, by studying the reaction of roundworms after coming into contact with the urine of patients, media reported Friday.
In a study, it was determined that roundworms, measuring approximately one mm in length, are attracted to the smell of urine of people with cancer, the Nikkei newspaper reported.
The study was conducted on about 300 people and gave accurate results in over 90 percent of the cases.
Hitachi, with the help of researchers from the university, hopes to commercialise a device in 2018 that measures the reaction of a group of the worms and detects cancer at an early stage.
Each test would take only an hour and would cost about $0.84, according to Nikkei.
However, they said the gadget would not be able to detect different types of cancer, and a positive detection would require additional conventional tests.
Hitachi, one of the biggest firms in Japan's healthcare sector, first plans to launch the device in Japan and later in other countries.