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胰腺癌检测的新希望…来自一位少年 – 译学馆
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胰腺癌检测的新希望...来自一位少年

A promising test for pancreatic cancer ... from a teenager | Jack Andraka

在生活中你有没有经历过这样的时刻
Have you ever experienced a moment in your life
非常痛苦迷茫的时刻
that was so painful and confusing,
让你觉得唯一想做的事情
that all you wanted to do
是尽可能学习更多的知识 明白所有的事情
was learn as much as you could to make sense of it all?
我十三岁的时候 我家的一位朋友 对我来说就像叔叔一样
When I was 13, a close family friend who was like an uncle to me
因为胰腺癌去世了
passed away from pancreatic cancer.
当这个疾病与我家如此接近的时候
When the disease hit so close to home,
我知道 我需要学更多的东西
I knew I needed to learn more.
所以我上网去寻找答案
So I went online to find answers.
通过互联网 我找到了关于胰腺癌各种不同的数据统计
Using the Internet, I found a variety of statistics on pancreatic cancer,
我所发现的让我十分地震惊
and what I had found shocked me.
超过85%的胰腺癌患者发现时就已被诊断为晚期
Over 85 percent of all pancreatic cancers are diagnosed late,
只有2%的幸存率
when someone has less than a two percent chance of survival.
为什么在检查胰腺癌方面我们这么差
Why are we so bad at detecting pancreatic cancer?
原因是什么?
The reason?
如今 这所谓的“现代”疗法已是存在60年的技术了
Today’s current “modern” medicine is a 60-year-old technique.
比我爸爸还老
That’s older than my dad.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
而且 它极其昂贵 每次样检需要花费800美金
But also, it’s extremely expensive, costing 800 dollars per test,
并且检测结果非常不精确 30%的胰腺癌未被检测出来
and it’s grossly inaccurate, missing 30 percent of all pancreatic cancers.
你的医生必须要非常怀疑你得了胰腺癌
Your doctor would have to be ridiculously suspicious that you have the cancer
才会让你去做这个检测
in order to give you this test.
了解这些之后 我知道一定有更好的办法
Learning this, I knew there had to be a better way.
所以 我设计了科学的检验标准
So, I set up scientific criteria
有关一个感应器应该是什么样子的
as to what a sensor would have to look like
才能更有效地诊断胰腺癌
in order to effectively diagnose pancreatic cancer.
这个感应器应该是:
The sensor would have to be:
价格低廉的 迅速的 简单的 敏感的
inexpensive, rapid, simple, sensitive,
有选择性的并且最小限度侵入体内的
selective, and minimally invasive.
现在 这个检测有六十多年未被更新是有原因的
Now, there’s a reason why this test hasn’t been updated in over six decades.
那就是 当我们检查胰腺癌时
And that’s because when we’re looking for pancreatic cancer,
我们检查你的血液
we’re looking at your bloodstream,
血液里已经有不计其数的丰富的蛋白质
which is already abundant in all these tons and tons of protein,
而你要在这一小点蛋白质中找到非常微小的差异
and you’re looking for this miniscule difference in this tiny amount of protein.
只是这一种蛋白质
Just this one protein.
这几乎是不可能的
That’s next to impossible.
但是 由于我出生牛犊不怕“唬”和乐观的精神
However, undeterred due to my teenage optimism —
[笑声]
(Laughter)
[掌声]
(Applause)
我上网去找了对一个少年来说 最好的两个朋友 谷歌和维基百科
I went online to a teenager’s two best friends, Google and Wikipedia.
我从这两个资源上找到过所有我的家庭作业需要的答案
I got everything for my homework from those two sources.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
我发现的是一篇文章
And what I had found was an article
它列出了8000多种不同类型的蛋白质数据
that listed a database of over 8,000 different proteins
当你得了胰腺癌时 这样的蛋白质就会被发现
that are found when you have pancreatic cancer.
因此 我决定给自己一个新任务
So, I decided to go and make it my new mission
那就是去筛查所有的这些蛋白质
to go through all these proteins,
看看哪些可以用来当作胰腺癌的生物标识
and see which ones could serve as a bio-marker for pancreatic cancer.
为了简化我需做的工作
And to make it a bit simpler for myself,
我决定精心设计合理的标准 那就是
I decided to map out scientific criteria, and here it is.
首先 这种蛋白质必须是所有类型的胰腺癌中都有的
Essentially, first, the protein would have to be found in all pancreatic cancers,
在血液中含量高的
at high levels in the bloodstream,
在最早期 而且只是在癌症阶段的
in the earliest stages, but also only in cancer.
因此 我开始逐一去试 完成这个庞大的工程
And so I’m just plugging and chugging through this gargantuan task,
最终 在第四千次的尝试中
and finally, on the 4,000th try,
就在我几乎都要发疯的时候
when I’m close to losing my sanity,
我找到那种蛋白质了
I find the protein.
我找到的蛋白质的名字叫间皮素
And the name of the protein I’d located was called mesothelin,
是再普通不过的一类蛋白质
and it’s just your ordinary, run-of-the-mill type protein,
当然 如果你得了胰腺癌 卵巢癌 或肺癌的话
unless, of course, you have pancreatic, ovarian or lung cancer,
有这几种癌症的患者 血液里间皮素的浓度极高
in which case it’s found at these very high levels in your bloodstream.
而且 关键是在于它在最初期的阶段就能被发现
But also, the key is that it’s found in the earliest stages of the disease,
早到当患者仍有100%的生存率的时候
when someone has close to 100 percent chance of survival.
那么现在 我已经找到了一种可靠的蛋白质
So now that I’d found a reliable protein I could detect,
接下来我把焦点转向如何测出这种蛋白质
I then shifted my focus to actually detecting that protein,
因而就能检测出胰腺癌了
and thus, pancreatic cancer.
现在 我的突破出现在非常不可能的地方
Now, my breakthrough came in a very unlikely place,
或许是最不可能创新的地方:
possibly the most unlikely place for innovation —
我高中的生物课上 那个绝对扼杀创新的地方
my high school biology class, the absolute stifler of innovation.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
[掌声]
(Applause)
我偷偷阅读了关于碳纳米管的一篇文章
And I had snuck in this article on these things called carbon nanotubes,
它是一条很长很细的碳管
and that’s just a long, thin pipe of carbon
一个原子的厚度 只有一根头发直径的五万分之一
that’s an atom thick, and one 50,000th the diameter of your hair.
尽管碳纳米管的尺寸极小
And despite their extremely small sizes,
它们却有这些惊人的属性
they have these incredible properties.
它们就像是材料科学里的超级英雄
They’re kind of like the superheroes of material science.
当我在课上偷偷阅读这篇藏在课桌下的文章的时候
And while I was sneakily reading this article under my desk in my biology class,
课上正在讲另一种很酷的分子
we were supposed to be paying attention to these other kind of cool molecules,
它们叫抗体
called antibodies.
他们之所以酷是因为
And these are pretty cool because they only react
它们只对特定的蛋白质有所反应
with one specific protein,
但抗体远不如碳纳米管有趣
but they’re not nearly as interesting as carbon nanotubes.
然后我就坐在教室里 忽然突发奇想:
And so then, I was sitting in class, and suddenly it hit me:
也许我可以把自己读到的 碳纳米管
I could combine what I was reading about, carbon nanotubes,
和我课上应该学的抗体结合起来
with what I was supposed to be thinking about, antibodies.
主要是 我可以把一堆这样的抗体
Essentially, I could weave a bunch of these antibodies
交织进碳纳米管的网络里
into a network of carbon nanotubes,
那你就有了一个只针对一种蛋白质产生反应的网络
such that you have a network that only reacts with one protein,
而且 由于碳纳米管的特性
but also, due to the properties of these nanotubes,
网络的电性会
it will change its electrical properties,
根据蛋白质的含量而改变
based on the amount of protein present.
但是 有一个弱点
However, there’s a catch.
碳纳米管的网络极为脆弱
These networks of carbon nanotubes are extremely flimsy.
由于如此纤细 它们需要被支撑
And since they’re so delicate, they need to be supported.
所以这是为什么我选择用纸张
So that’s why I chose to use paper.
用纸做癌症检测器
Making a cancer sensor out of paper is about as simple
简单得就像做我爱吃的巧克力曲奇
as making chocolate chip cookies, which I love.
[笑声]
(Laughs)
先把一点水倒入一些纳米管里
You start with some water, pour in some nanotubes,
加上抗体 混在一起 拿点纸 沾一下 晾干
add antibodies, mix it up, take some paper, dip it, dry it,
然后你就可以测出癌症了
and you can detect cancer.
[掌声]
(Applause)
然后 突然间 一个想法油然而生
Then, suddenly, a thought occurred
这想法在我神奇的计划上增添了一些瑕疵
that kind of put a blemish on my amazing plan here.
我不能在家里厨房的操作台上做这种癌症研究
I can’t really do cancer research on my kitchen countertop.
我妈不会喜欢的
My mom wouldn’t really like that.
所以 我决定去找个实验室
So instead, I decided to go for a lab.
我打出了一份预算 一份所需物品清单 一份时间安排和一份程序步骤
So I typed up a budget, a materials list, a timeline, and a procedure,
然后发邮件给200位
and I emailed it to 200 different professors
在约翰霍普金斯大学和国家健康研究所的不同的教授
at Johns Hopkins University and the National Institutes of Health —
任何只要与胰腺癌相关的人
essentially, anyone that had anything to do with pancreatic cancer.
我等待着那些肯定性的邮件纷纷而至
I sat back waiting for these positive emails to be pouring in,
说 “你简直是个天才啊! 你会拯救我们所有的人!”
saying, “You’re a genius! You’re going to save us all!”
但是……
And —
[笑声]
(Laughter)
然后现实还是来临了 在一个月里
Then reality took hold, and over the course of a month,
200封发出的邮件中 我收到199封拒绝的回信
I got 199 rejections out of those 200 emails.
一位教授甚至彻底检查了一遍我所有的步骤
One professor even went through my entire procedure,
我煞费苦心地想 真不知道他哪来这么多时间
painstakingly — I’m not really sure where he got all this time —
他检查了所有的步骤 并说了为什么每一步
and he went through and said why each and every step
都像是我犯过的最糟糕的错误
was like the worst mistake I could ever make.
很明显 这些教授们对它的评价并没有我认为的那么高
Clearly, the professors did not have as high of an opinion of my work as I did.
但是 祸兮福之所倚
However, there is a silver lining.
有一位教授说”也许我能帮助你 孩子”
One professor said, “Maybe I might be able to help you, kid.”
所以我就奔着他去了
So, I went in that direction.
(笑声)
(Laughter)
因为你永远不能拒绝一个孩子
As you can never say no to a kid.
所以三个月后
And so then, three months later,
我终于和他敲定了一个严格的期限
I finally nailed down a harsh deadline with this guy,
我去了他的实验室 内心非常激动 然后坐下
and I get into his lab, I get all excited, and then I sit down,
我就开始讲
I start opening my mouth and talking,
5秒钟后 他叫来了另外一位博士
and five seconds later, he calls in another Ph.D.
接着一群博士涌入小办公室
Ph.D.s just flock into this little room,
他们连番问我犀利的问题
and they’re just firing these questions at me,
结束时 我觉得像在小丑车上
and by the end, I kind of felt like I was in a clown car.
20位博士加上我 还有那位教授
There were 20 Ph.D.s, plus me and the professor
挤在一间小小的办公室里
crammed into this tiny office space,
用他们机关枪扫射般地提问向我开火
with them firing these rapid-fire questions at me,
试图击沉我的程序步骤
trying to sink my procedure.
那怎么可能呢?我意思是 爱谁谁
How unlikely is that? I mean, pshhh.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
但是 我还是让自己经受了那场审问
However, subjecting myself to that interrogation —
我回答了所有的问题 其中猜测了一部分
I answered all their questions, and I guessed on quite a few
但是我都猜对了
but I got them right —
最终我还是得到了我需要的实验室的一块空间
and I finally landed the lab space I needed.
但在那之后的不久 我在曾经认为如此绝妙的试验步骤中却发现
But it was shortly afterwards that I discovered my once brilliant procedure
它似乎是漏洞百出
had something like a million holes in it,
接下来连续几个月
and over the course of seven months,
我绞尽脑汁地想办法弥补了每一个漏洞
I painstakingly filled each and every one of those holes.
结果呢?
The result?
一张小小的纸片感应器 只花费3分钱和五分钟去做实验
One small paper sensor that costs three cents and takes five minutes to run.
比之前快168倍
This makes it 168 times faster,
成本便宜26000倍
over 26,000 times less expensive,
并且与现有的标准相比 敏感度高达400倍
and over 400 times more sensitive than our current standard
就能检测出胰腺癌
for pancreatic cancer detection.
[掌声]
(Applause)
不过 这个感应器最棒的地方就是
One of the best parts of the sensor, though,
它有接近100%的准确率
is that it has close to 100 percent accuracy,
能在最初阶段检测到癌症
and can detect the cancer in the earliest stages,
在人们还有100%生存率的期间
when someone has close to 100 percent chance of survival.
所以 在接下来的二到五年里
And so in the next two to five years,
这个感应器可能会提高胰腺癌患者的存活率
this sensor could potentially lift the pancreatic cancer survival rates
从一个令人沮丧的5.5% 上升到几乎100%
from a dismal 5.5 percent to close to 100 percent,
对于卵巢癌和肺癌也会有类似功效
and it would do similar for ovarian and lung cancer.
但它不仅只限于此
But it wouldn’t stop there.
如果变更抗体
By switching out that antibody,
你可以寻找不同的蛋白质 从而检测到不同的疾病
you can look at a different protein, thus, a different disease —
整个世界里 任何疾病都有可能
potentially any disease in the entire world.
那些范围包括 从心脏疾病 到疟疾 艾滋病毒携带 到艾滋病
So that ranges from heart disease, to malaria, HIV, AIDS,
还有其他形式的癌症 —任何疾病都可以
as well as other forms of cancer — anything.
因此 希望有一天
And so, hopefully one day,
我们都能多救一位叔叔
we can all have that one extra uncle,
多一位母亲 多一位兄弟姐妹
that one mother, that one brother, sister,
我们能多救一位亲人去爱
we can have that one more family member to love.
我们的心会减少一份对疾病的负担
And that our hearts will be rid of that one disease burden
那份来自胰腺癌 卵巢癌和肺癌的负担
that comes from pancreatic, ovarian and lung cancer,
而且任何疾病都有可能
and potentially any disease.
透过互联网一切皆有可能
But through the Internet, anything is possible.
理论是可以共享的
Theories can be shared,
你不必是一位有着很多学历的教授
and you don’t have to be a professor with multiple degrees
才能让你的想法得到重视
to have your ideas valued.
这是一个中立平等的空间 你长得什么样子 你的年龄 或性别
It’s a neutral space, where what you look like, age or gender —
都不重要
it doesn’t matter.
是你的想法才重要
It’s just your ideas that count.
对我来说 重要的是以全新的方式来看互联网
For me, it’s all about looking at the Internet in an entirely new way,
认识到互联网可以做很多很多
to realize that there’s so much more to it
比发嘟嘟嘴的自拍照更有意义的事情
than just posting duck-face pictures of yourself online.
[笑声]
(Laughter)
你可以改变世界
You could be changing the world.
如果一个十五岁 连胰腺癌都不知道是什么的少年
So if a 15 year-old who didn’t even know what a pancreas was
都可以找到一个新的 能检测出胰腺癌的方法
could find a new way to detect pancreatic cancer —
那么联想一下你能做些什么
just imagine what you could do.
谢谢你们
Thank you.
[全体起立 热烈鼓掌]
(Applause)

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一位连胰腺癌是什么都不知道的15岁少年 与你分享他是如何发明检测胰腺癌感应器的

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