Urine test could be used as future cancer screening tool

In our previous posts we noted that many mesothelioma patients cannot benefit from early detection or screening methods. This often leads to the terminal nature of the disease. However, a new clinical testing endeavor suggests that future patients can have their cancers detected earlier through a simple urine test.

Researchers at MIT's David H. Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research have found a way to identify cancer proteins by using nano-particles that attach to tumor cells. The particles also will interact with cancerous proteins to produce specific biomarkers, which can alert doctors to cancer cells.

Doctors believe that the process will create an easily usable method to discover cancer. The process could also be used to detect other cancers (such as lung cancer), and will give patients the best treatment options available.

Researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center are also in the early stages of developing a detection tool with circulating tumor cells in the bloodstream. This test will ostensibly find similar markers that could be detected in the urine test, since finding CTC in blood is particularly difficult. The ultimate goal is incorporate a similar process of using nano-particles in the blood so that the peptides that are released (and accumulate in the kidneys) can be identified in the urine that eventually can be tested.

The procedures are far from completion, but the development of cancer screening tests gives future patients hope of early detection and treatment, which will eventually save lives. If you have been diagnosed with mesothelioma, you still have rights to seek damages for cancer treatments. An experienced attorney can advise you of your rights and options.

Source: MesotheliomaHelp.com, Early detection of mesothelioma could someday be possible through simple urine test, December 24, 2012

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