Today, researchers have developed a urine test that can detect signs of glioblastoma, a common and deadly form of brain cancer, at an early stage.
In a study published in the International Journal of Molecular Sciences, a team of scientists from Hyderabad-based Institute of Life Sciences and Dr Reddy’s Laboratories have demonstrated the efficacy of the test in correctly identifying glioblastoma patients on the basis of their urine samples.
Glioblastoma is an aggressive form of brain cancer which can be very difficult to detect and treat due to its location inside the skull. Currently, diagnosis is done via a combination of MRI and biopsy. This can be an expensive, invasive and lengthy process.
The urine test developed by the researchers works by looking at the presence of two molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs). miRNAs are small strands of ribonucleic acid, which are found in most body tissues and are known to be involved in the development and progression of cancer.
By looking at these miRNAs in urine, the researchers were able to accurately differentiate cancer patients from healthy individuals. The test was also able to diagnose glioblastoma at stages 1 and 2, when the cancer is most amenable to treatment.
The development of the urine test marks an important breakthrough in the early detection of glioblastoma and could open up a new avenue of research into more reliable and cost-effective methods of diagnosing the condition.
The authors of the study hope their work will bring us one step closer to developing an easy-to-use and reliable early-detection test for a wide range of cancers. For now, the urine test is being tested with larger cohorts and further refinements, and it will take some time before this promising approach and associated kit are available in the clinic or hospital.
Experts build urine test to detect mind most cancers early The Indian Express