This article has been reviewed according to Science X's editorial process and policies. Editors have highlighted the following attributes while ensuring the content's credibility:

fact-checked

peer-reviewed publication

trusted source

proofread

Scientists develop new device to detect brain tumors using urine

Scientists develop new device to detect brain tumors using urine
Microscopic image of nanowires. Credit: Dr Takao Yasui

Researchers at Nagoya University in Japan have used a new device to identify a key membrane protein in urine that indicates whether the patient has a brain tumor. This protein could be used to detect brain cancer, avoiding the need for invasive tests, and increasing the likelihood of tumors being detected early enough for surgery. This research could also have potential implications for detecting other types of cancer. The research was published in ACS Nano.

Although early detection of many types of cancer has contributed to the recent increases in cancer survival rates, the survival rate for has remained almost unchanged for over 20 years. Partly this is due to their late detection. Physicians often discover only after the onset of neurological symptoms, such as loss of movement or speech, by which time the tumor has reached a considerable size. Detecting the tumor when it is still small, and starting treatment as soon as possible, should help to save lives.

One possible sign that a person has a brain tumor is the presence of tumor-related extracellular vesicles (EVs) in their urine. EVs are nano-sized vesicles involved in a variety of functions, including cell-to-cell communication. Because those found in patients have specific types of RNA and membrane proteins, they could be used to detect the presence of cancer and its progression.

Although they are excreted far from the brain, many EVs from cancer cells exist stably and are excreted in the urine without breaking down. Urine testing has many advantages, explains Associate Professor Takao Yasui of Nagoya University Graduate School of Engineering. "Liquid biopsy can be performed using many , but blood tests are invasive," he said. "Urine tests are an effective, simple, and because the urine contains many informative biomolecules that can be traced back to identify the disease."

A research group led by Yasui and Professor Yoshinobu Baba of Nagoya University's Graduate School of Engineering, in collaboration with Nagoya University's Institute of Innovation for Future Society and the University of Tokyo, has developed a new analysis platform for brain tumor EVs using nanowires at the bottom of a well plate. Using this device, they identified two specific types of EV membrane proteins, known as CD31/CD63, from samples of brain tumor patients. Looking for these tell-tale proteins could enable doctors to identify tumor patients before they develop symptoms.

"Currently, EV isolation and detection methods require more than two instruments and an assay to isolate and then detect EVs," said Yasui. "The all-in-one nanowire assay can isolate and detect EVs using one simple procedure. In the future, users can run samples through our assay and change the detection part, by selectively modifying it to detect specific membrane proteins or miRNAs inside EVs to detect other types of cancer. Using this platform, we expect to advance the analysis of the expression levels of specific in patients' urinary EVs, which will enable the early detection of different types of cancer."

More information: Kunanon Chattrairat et al, All-in-One Nanowire Assay System for Capture and Analysis of Extracellular Vesicles from an ex Vivo Brain Tumor Model, ACS Nano (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.2c08526

Journal information: ACS Nano

Provided by Nagoya University

Citation: Scientists develop new device to detect brain tumors using urine (2023, February 3) retrieved 25 April 2024 from https://phys.org/news/2023-02-scientists-device-brain-tumors-urine.html
This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

Explore further

Simple urine test may help early detection of brain tumors

855 shares

Feedback to editors