The World Health Organisation's IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) has released a new study that may be useful for early cancer diagnosis.
To date, cystoscopy is considered the most effective method for diagnosing bladder cancer. This is an invasive diagnostic method that’s only effective for detecting cancer in the active phase, and it’s impossible to recognise the disease in its early stages.
Meanwhile, a group of scientists from the International Agency for Research on Cancer concluded that it’s possible to detect bladder cancer 10 years before the patient has clinical signs of the disease. Moreover, this doesn’t require complicated procedures, and just a simple urine test will suffice.
The fact is that in most cases, bladder cancer is accompanied by mutations in the reverse transcriptase gene. That's why this analysis allows us to identify them. However, the problem is that until recently, scientists weren’t sure whether this biomarker is an effective way to detect cancer.
Since 2004, doctors have accumulated a database of biological data from 50 thousand healthy people. Subsequently, 38 of them developed cancer. Interestingly, reverse transcriptase mutations were detected in 46.7% of patients. No such mutations were found in healthy patients. Thus, this method has proven effective. One caveat is that it’s too early to speak about the clinical application because scientists need to do more research.
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