See brain cancer in urine. Researchers discover new safer way to search for tumors
Japanese researchers have developed a new device to detect a key membrane protein in urine that indicates a patient has a brain tumor.
A specific protein could be used to detect brain cancer, avoiding the need for invasive tests and increasing the chance that the tumor is found early enough for surgery. The team’s research could also have potential implications for the detection of other types of cancer, writes Lab+Life Scientist .
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Although the early detection of many cancers has contributed to the recent increase in cancer survival rates, the survival rate for brain tumors has remained almost unchanged for more than 20 years. This is partly due to their late detection: doctors often discover brain tumors only after the onset of neurological symptoms, such as loss of movement or speech, by which time the tumor has grown to a significant size. Finding a tumor when it is still small and starting treatment as soon as possible should help save lives.
One possible sign that a person has a brain tumor is the presence of tumor-associated extracellular vesicles (EVs) in the urine. EVs are nanosized vesicles involved in various functions, including intercellular communication. Because certain types of RNA and membrane proteins have been found in brain cancer patients, they can be used to detect the presence of cancer and its progression. Many EVs from cancer cells exist stably and are excreted in the urine without being destroyed.
“Liquid biopsy can be performed using many body fluids, but blood tests are invasive,” said Associate Professor Takao Yasui of Nagoya University. diseases”.
A research team from the University of Nagoya and the University of Tokyo, led by Yasui, has developed a new platform for the analysis of BB brain tumors using nanowires on the bottom of a well plate. Using this device, they identified two specific types of BB membrane proteins, known as CD31/CD63, in urine samples from brain tumor patients. Finding these telltale proteins could allow doctors to identify patients with tumors before they develop symptoms.