Could TEARS be used to detect breast cancer? Bizarre experiment sees researchers asking weepy cinema goers to donate theirs to find out
- Around 400 New Zealand women have donated their tears to science
- They watched the film Brooklyn as their tears were collected
- American company Ascendant Diagnostics collected the samples
- They believes proteins in tears could help detect breast cancer
- The company is working on a new technology for cancer screening
Usually all that comes out of a screening of a sad movie is a lot of popcorn consumed and some soggy tissues.
But at a New Zealand cinema recently, something else was achieved—a potential breakthrough in detecting breast cancer.
Women watching the drama Brooklyn donated their tears to researchers who are developing a new cancer detection device.
Women in New Zealand have donated their tears (above) to try and help with breast cancer research
The tears were collected by Ascendant Diagnostics Dx, who believe proteins in tears could detect breast cancer
American researchers from company Ascendant Diagnostics (Dx) believe that tears could potentially help breast cancer with 90 per cent accuracy.
'The screening assay for breast cancer is based on a proprietary set of proteins found in tear fluid, called Melody,' the company explains in a research abstract.
'This collection of proteins can distinguish women who have breast cancer from women who do not with sensitivity of 88 per cent and a specificity of 86 per cent.'
Around 400 women watched the tear-jerker drama film Brooklyn (above) in order for the samples to be collected
Currently mammograms are the most common way to detect breast cancer, but they are not as effective for women with dense breast tissue
But before seeking regulatory approval, the scientists need to refine the testing device and needed more tears.
400 women volunteered for the good of the research, and with a tear-jerker like Brooklyn on the screen it wasn't hard to get samples.
Ascendant Diagnostics hopes to create a device that can more easily detect breast cancer early.