New 'toolbox' for urological cancer detection

April 16, 2020

Researchers from Ghent University, Belgium, together with researchers from the University of Turku, Finland, have developed a new method for biomarker discovery of urological cancers. The method enables timely diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Urological cancers include e.g. prostate, bladder and kidney cancers.

Biomarkers are biological signatures in the body that can indicate the presence of cancer. A promising source of new biomarkers are extracellular vesicles. These are microscopic vesicles that are released by cancer cells into biological fluids, such as urine.

- Detecting and examining these vesicles in urine has an enormous potential for developing new tests for early detection of urological cancers. However, research related to this is still in its infancy, says Bert Dhondt from Ghent University.

To date, no sufficiently effective method exists for separating extracellular vesicles from urine. Such method would be essential for investigating these vesicles and using them in patient diagnostics and treatment. This means that extensive laboratory research into these promising biomarkers has not yet been translated into new urine tests which can help patients. The recently published study addresses this problem in several ways.

New 'Toolbox' Helps Mapping the Composition of Extracellular Vesicles

Researchers concluded that the currently used methods for separating extracellular vesicles from urine are not optimal for detecting new cancer biomarkers. Therefore, they developed a new 'toolbox' to map the composition of urinary extracellular vesicles.

This 'toolbox' consists of a novel method, developed at Ghent University, to separate extracellular vesicles from urine with high purity. In addition, researchers at the University of Turku were involved in developing a method for determining the protein composition of the vesicles.

- We have the know-how and the world's top equipment here at the University of Turku for determining the protein composition of biological samples, whereas the researchers at Ghent University represent the very top in extracellular vesicle research. Therefore, the distribution of work was very clear from the beginning, notes Docent Pekka Rappu from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku.

Researchers applied this new method to urine samples from patients with prostate, bladder and kidney cancer. They established that extracellular vesicles in urine carry protein signatures specific to the various urological cancers. Using this new toolbox, the researchers were also able to map the protein composition of urinary extracellular vesicles in unprecedented detail.

Results Can Accelerate the Development of New Tests

Extracellular vesicles are increasingly being recognized as promising cancer biomarkers. Thanks to this recent research, scientists now have access to a new 'toolbox' that brings us one step closer to the development of promising new urine tests.

- In the future, the results of the study can aid patients with urological cancers through faster diagnosis and timely treatment, sums Bert Dhondt.
-end-
This research was carried out by the Laboratory of Experimental Cancer Research and the Urology Department of Ghent University Hospital. The research was supported by an international collaboration with the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Turku, Finland.

Cancer Society of Finland has funded the research conducted in Turku.

The study has been published in the Journal of Extracellular Vesicles.

University of Turku

Related Cancer Articles from Brightsurf:

New blood cancer treatment works by selectively interfering with cancer cell signalling
University of Alberta scientists have identified the mechanism of action behind a new type of precision cancer drug for blood cancers that is set for human trials, according to research published in Nature Communications.

UCI researchers uncover cancer cell vulnerabilities; may lead to better cancer therapies
A new University of California, Irvine-led study reveals a protein responsible for genetic changes resulting in a variety of cancers, may also be the key to more effective, targeted cancer therapy.

Breast cancer treatment costs highest among young women with metastic cancer
In a fight for their lives, young women, age 18-44, spend double the amount of older women to survive metastatic breast cancer, according to a large statewide study by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Cancer mortality continues steady decline, driven by progress against lung cancer
The cancer death rate declined by 29% from 1991 to 2017, including a 2.2% drop from 2016 to 2017, the largest single-year drop in cancer mortality ever reported.

Stress in cervical cancer patients associated with higher risk of cancer-specific mortality
Psychological stress was associated with a higher risk of cancer-specific mortality in women diagnosed with cervical cancer.

Cancer-sniffing dogs 97% accurate in identifying lung cancer, according to study in JAOA
The next step will be to further fractionate the samples based on chemical and physical properties, presenting them back to the dogs until the specific biomarkers for each cancer are identified.

Moffitt Cancer Center researchers identify one way T cell function may fail in cancer
Moffitt Cancer Center researchers have discovered a mechanism by which one type of immune cell, CD8+ T cells, can become dysfunctional, impeding its ability to seek and kill cancer cells.

More cancer survivors, fewer cancer specialists point to challenge in meeting care needs
An aging population, a growing number of cancer survivors, and a projected shortage of cancer care providers will result in a challenge in delivering the care for cancer survivors in the United States if systemic changes are not made.

New cancer vaccine platform a potential tool for efficacious targeted cancer therapy
Researchers at the University of Helsinki have discovered a solution in the form of a cancer vaccine platform for improving the efficacy of oncolytic viruses used in cancer treatment.

American Cancer Society outlines blueprint for cancer control in the 21st century
The American Cancer Society is outlining its vision for cancer control in the decades ahead in a series of articles that forms the basis of a national cancer control plan.

Read More: Cancer News and Cancer Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
Can't connect to localhost. Errorcode: 1203