Dr Imoh Okon’s drug resistance test kit revolutionises cancer treatment

Dr Imoh Okon’s tech innovation could be the difference between life and death for cancer sufferers.

A breast cancer survivor once said, "Cancer is such a frightening and emotional roller coaster. It's a ride we all want to get off! My best advice is to find the 'glue' that will hold you together.” That glue might be the piece of mind afforded to those confident in the treatment they’re receiving to fight off the deadly disease. But achieving this is not easy when the complexity of the disease and its treatment is often lost on the layman.

When cellular processes become disrupted during treatments like chemotherapy it could mean that the patient’s cancer is becoming drug resistant. Early discovery of this problem could fast track the patient’s move to alternative treatment. To make this a possibility, Dr Imoh Okon developed a ground-breaking cancer-drug resistant test kit.

“Cancer sufferers don’t care about the dynamics of the disease. They just want to know when it’s gone”, says Okon.

An assistant professor at the Institute of Biomedical Sciences at Georgia State University in the USA, Okon dedicated his research efforts to finding a way to put sufferers at ease.

Prior to the kit’s invention, doctors had no way of predicting the onset of drug resistance, forcing patients to undergo ineffective and often painful treatments. The innovation of the kit allows the patient’s management team to properly plan and manage treatment.

“The ability to pinpoint the transition from therapy to drug resistance is key because we know that drug resistance accounts for the bulk of cancer related mortality,” says Okon.

The kit is currently under patent in the United States, but Okon says it should be available worldwide, particularly in developing areas very soon. Future innovations include a home detection kit that will give sufferers greater control over the detection of drug resistance and the management of the disease.

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