Just soak up and this test will detect bladder cancer

The International Agency for Research on Cancer ( IARC ) has published a very interesting study, which shows that a simple biomarker contained in our urine can be an effective prognostic test for bladder cancer, signaling the presence of the disease up to 10 years before the appearance of clinical symptoms.

It doesn't sound very impressive, but just such simple discoveries , brick by block, increase our chances in the fight against the so-called difficult conditions, to which I personally include cancers. Before I talk about a new, brilliantly simple method of detecting bladder cancer, I need to better understand the context and tell about the current method of diagnosis.

Currently, to detect someone's bladder cancer, the best way is to perform cystoscopy. This is a very invasive method that involves inserting an instrument called a cystoscope through the urethra into the bladder. After the cystoscope is introduced, a visual assessment of the mucosa inside the bladder is made. Believe me, this is nothing nice.

That is why doctors have been examining several biomarkers of urine for several years that could signal the presence of cancer. So far, unfortunately, none of them has been clinically verified to the extent that doctors can base their diagnoses on it.

However, this may change in the near future

For several years, researchers have known that mutations in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene are extremely common in many cases of bladder cancer. TERT mutations have the advantage that it is relatively easy to detect them in urine samples taken from the patient. So far, however, it has not been clear whether this biomarker is an effective tool for early detection of bladder cancer.

IARC researchers decided to take a closer look at these mutations. The decision was made in 2004, so we are talking here about solid and long-term tests, which were described in the latest edition of EbioMedicine .

- By collecting urine samples at the time of registration from 50,045 people and observing over 10 years, the Golestan Cohort study is one of the few prospective population cohorts that gives the opportunity to assess urine biomarkers in the period preceding the clinical detection of bladder cancer - explains Reza Malekzaded, co-author new study and principal researcher of the Golestan Cohort study.

Diagnosis of bladder cancer based on urine samples

Of these 50,000, 38 people were finally diagnosed with bladder cancer. In how many patients were TERT mutations detected based on urine tests? 46.7 percent cancer patients who participated in the study. Which is also important: no TERT mutations were detected in the 152 cancer-free control group.

- Our study results provide the first evidence that TERT mutations in urine can be considered as non-invasive biomarkers for the early detection of bladder cancer - says Ismail Hosen, co-author of the study

Of course, the researchers themselves admit that this is an early pilot study with a small group of patients with bladder cancer, so the predictive nature of the TERT mutation will need further verification before it approaches clinical use.

However, this is an extremely promising, simple and inexpensive test for bladder cancer, which - if approved in further studies - can offer doctors a new, much-needed tool to detect this cancer at a very early stage of development. Thus increasing the chances of successful completion of treatment.

Just soak up and this test will detect bladder cancer


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