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Homechevron_rightSciencechevron_rightUrine test can detect...

Urine test can detect brain cancer: researchers

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Tokyo: Health professionals in the near future may be able to detect brain cancer via a urine test. Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan have developed a device that can identify a key membrane protein in urine indicating a brain tumour.

Tumour-related extracellular vesicles (EVs), nano-sized membranes filled with liquid involved in many functions, including cell-to-cell communication, are a sign of brain tumour. Currently, EV isolation and detection methods require more than two instruments and an assay to isolate and then detect EVs, said lead author Takao Yasui.

EVs are excreted by the brain and many are likely from cancer cells. These exist stably and pass out via urine without breaking down. "Urine contains many tell-tale biomolecules that can be traced back to identify the disease," he added.

Researchers have built an analysis platform that uses nanowires at the bottom of a well plate to identify two specific types of EV membranes in urine samples, said the study published in ACS Nano.

Patients may be able to escape invasive tests but still get an early diagnosis which makes recovery possible. Brain tumours are usually detected after symptoms like loss of movement or speech emerge. The tumour would be at a considerable size at this stage.

"The all-in-one nanowire assay can isolate and detect EVs using one simple procedure. In the future, users can run samples through our assay and change the detection part, by selectively modifying it to detect specific membrane proteins or miRNAs inside EVs to detect other types of cancer," said Yasui in a press statement.

The university in a statement said that the survival rate for brain tumours has remained virtually unchanged for over 30 years. This is due to late detection.

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TAGS:cancerbrain cancercancer diagnosisbrain tumoururine testNagoya University
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