The detection of cancer at an early stage can save human life, but, unlike “normal” tests, test for the presence of cancer requires a specific approach, and not all tumors can be detected using screening (a quick survey of a large number of people). But, as the newspaper writes Science Advances, researchers from Nagoya University in Japan have developed a device that can identify cancer with a simple urine test.
The principle of the device based on what it can determine in the solution the presence of exosomes and their contents. Exosomes are particles, carrying proteins and fragments of RNA and DNA, performs in the body transport function. Each actsoma contains proteins characteristic of the cell that produced them. Of course, cancer cells contain cancer exosomes.
The group of experts under the guidance of Dr. Takao Yasui in the course of studies of bladder cancer and prostate revealed that the urine of the patient is allocated a very small number of exosomes, to determine the concentration which was developed by sensitive instrument. The researchers used exosomes to filter a grid of zinc oxide with a cross section of a few nanometers. It can capture up to 99% of extracellular vesicles and skip the rest of the components of urine. For the analysis it is enough 1 milliliter of biological material.
The study authors emphasize that the main achievement is not the fact that they have developed an effective method of diagnosing cancer of the genitourinary system, and the fact that they managed to create a “filter” for exosomes, because in the future this technology can be applied to diagnose other forms of cancer. Moreover, the test itself is so simple that requires no special skills and can be completed even by a person with no medical training.