Researcher Looks at Ways to Detect Cancer in Urine Samples

Apr 03, 2009

Dr. Yinfa Ma has developed a method for pre-cancer screening that uses urine samples for detection. Ma hopes to be able to predict types of cancer as well as severity.

" is the second-highest cause of death among all diseases," says Ma, a Curators’ Teaching Professor of chemistry at Missouri University of Science and Technology. "Early diagnosis of cancer is crucial, but not many people want to go to the hospital to undergo costly, screening."

The research builds on existing knowledge of pteridines, compounds that help regulate the of cells. Ma found that six pteridine derivatives can be detected in samples, and that levels of some pteridines increase significantly if there is a inside the body.

Most importantly, Ma has discovered that one molecule, called oncopterin, exists in the urine of cancer patients but not in healthy human samples.

Ma's prototype instrument, appropriately called a P-scan, is used to screen urine for oncopterine and six other pteridine bio markers. The oncopterin level in urine indicates whether cancer is likely to develop, and varying levels of the six pteridines can actually provide a "fingerprint" of the type of cancer.

"I won't give up," Ma says. "I will continue to work on this project until we have succeeded and can market the instrument to save people's lives."

Provided by Missouri University of Science and Technology

Explore further: Anal, throat cancers on the rise among young adults, study finds

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E_L_Earnhardt
not rated yet Apr 04, 2009
'Love you for your devotion! Please check Pteridine
levels between those who have been exposed to "high
TEMPERATURES" for a day versis those who were exposed to LOW for the same period. I suspect the regulating function could be due to climate!