Toward a urine test for detecting colon cancer

Apr 21, 2010
Cancer of the colon, the orange structure highlighted in this computerized image, may be detected by doctors in the future using a simple urine test. Credit: iStock

Scientists are reporting an advance toward development of a urine test for detecting colon cancer, the third most common cancer in the United States. Such a test could eventually compliment or even reduce the need for colonoscopy, the mainstay screening test used today. The study, which analyzes chemical differences in the urine of humans with and without colon cancer, is in ACS' Journal of Proteome Research, a monthly publication.

Wei Jia and colleagues point out that colonoscopy, which involves using a flexible, lighted tube to see inside the colon, is the most effective tool for the early screening of colon cancer. However, the procedure is unpleasant, costly, and time-consuming. A urine test could provide an alternative method, the scientists say.

The scientists analyzed urine samples from 123 people — 60 with colon cancer and 63 without — for differences in its composition. They identified 16 substances that appear in unusual amounts in colon cancer. The changes include increased levels of tryptophan, one of the 22 that are found in proteins. The results demonstrate the potential of using urine as a tool for diagnosing , the scientists say.

Explore further: Researchers have developed a diagnostic device to make portable health care possible

More information: "Urinary Metabonomic Study on Colorectal Cancer", Journal of Proteome Research.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

New biomarkers for predicting the spread of colon cancer

Jan 13, 2010

Scientists in China are reporting discovery of two proteins present in the blood, of people with colon cancer that may serve as the potential biomarkers for accurately predicting whether the disease will spread. ...

Heart drugs show promise for fighting colon cancer

Dec 16, 2009

Scientists in Sweden are reporting for the first time that a group of drugs used to treat heart failure shows promise for fighting colon cancer. The study is in ACS' Journal of Natural Products. Colon cancer ...

Recommended for you

Chemical biologists find new halogenation enzyme

21 hours ago

Molecules containing carbon-halogen bonds are produced naturally across all kingdoms of life and constitute a large family of natural products with a broad range of biological activities. The presence of halogen substituents ...

Protein secrets of Ebola virus

Sep 15, 2014

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, which has claimed more than 2000 lives, has highlighted the need for a deeper understanding of the molecular biology of the virus that could be critical in ...

Protein courtship revealed through chemist's lens

Sep 15, 2014

Staying clear of diseases requires that the proteins in our cells cooperate with one another. But, it has been a well-guarded secret how tens of thousands of different proteins find the correct dancing partners ...

User comments : 0