In the wikipedia article about Andraka's pancreatic cancer test there are some controversial statements.

On one hand there are many glorious words about the method, also some awards, also some astonishing comparisons with other methods.

On the other hand, there is no proof, and also some evidence against its efficacy.

Also, I can't find any signs of Andraka's test in reality. For example, there is no such product in drug stores.

What is the proof or evidence that Andraka's method is really working and can feasibly exist in the near future?

  • $\begingroup$ Its mentioned in the Wikipedia article: None of the articles was published peer-reviewed and the replication of the results showed they were not significantly different from healthy persons. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Feb 14, 2014 at 17:18
  • $\begingroup$ Then what does award mean? $\endgroup$
    – Dims
    Feb 14, 2014 at 17:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ That some people, who probably have not much knowledge of scientific processes were impressed enough to award a price. $\endgroup$
    – Chris
    Feb 14, 2014 at 18:46
  • $\begingroup$ I think "fake" here implies that Andraka willfully misled people to earn the prize. I don't think that is likely and speculating on it would be outside the scope of the site. If you want a better explanation of the ways in which the method may not work as well as originally proposed, then you should re-word your question to reflect that. $\endgroup$
    – DQdlM
    Feb 15, 2014 at 15:01
  • $\begingroup$ @KennyPeanuts I have reworded my question. I don't care Andraka's motivation, only the reality of the method matters. $\endgroup$
    – Dims
    Feb 16, 2014 at 13:21

1 Answer 1


Basically, Andraka's method measures mesothelin. There's two key questions being asked about it (as it stands right now), falling into two categories:

1) There is some doubt as to the significance of serum mesothelin levels as a biomarker in pancreatic and biliary cancers. Some studies (e.g. Sharon et al (1)) suggest that there is no significant difference in levels - others (e.g. Hassan et al (2)) suggest that mesothelin may be a valid biomarker in some conditions but not others.

2) There are questions around the test itself. Andraka's work is promising and quite impressive. There are, however, some claims about it are being made that there's just not the evidence to support. I suspect that any fault for this lies with the journalists reporting on the story or PR people for various companies or institutions. The device may stand up to clinical trials and testing and be as revolutionary as it's claimed to be, but it does need to be fully tested.


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