February 21, 2020 - 13:27 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - A new study conducted by researchers from the United Nations health agency revealed that bladder cancer mutations can be detected in urine up to 10 years before clinically diagnosing the disease.
The test is based on detecting mutations in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene – a crucial element for cancer genesis and progression – the most common mutations in bladder cancer, according to the report conducted by the UN World Health Organization’s (WHO) International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and international partners.
The new evidence is detailed in an article published by The Lancet, which highlights the potential of early detection.
“A simple urine test has recently been developed, and these new results are another exciting step towards the validation of a non-invasive early detection tool,” maintained Florence Le Calvez-Kelm, IARC scientist and principal investigator of the study.
“This test could significantly improve and simplify the way in which bladder cancer is detected.”
Because there is a lack of evidence on early detection efficiency, urine tests are not currently recommended by urological societies – relegating the diagnosis of bladder cancer to relying largely on invasive and expensive procedures, such as cystoscopy.
In this context, the ability to detect the TERT mutations in pre-diagnostic urine samples may also offer cost-effective screening to those at high risk of developing the disease.