A simple urine test can now help detect kidney cancer in its earliest and most curable stage, claim U.S. researchers in a report published in this week's Cancer Research.
Doctors currently use several methods to diagnose the disease, including magnetic resonance imaging, computed
tomography scans, ultrasounds, and, ultimately, biopsy.
Researchers from Fox Chase Cancer Centre in Philadelphia, U.S., used a molecular DNA-based test to look for genetic alterations in the urine known to play a role in the development of kidney cancer.
Of the 50 patients tested, 44 were found to have genetic alterations in their urine identical to the genetic alternations found in their tumours upon biopsy.
A control group without the disease also received the test. None of their urine samples were positive for the genetic alterations.
"The test is remarkably accurate with no false-positives in this study," Ivanhoe quoted co-author Robert G. Uzzo as saying.
"In addition, one of the most impressive outcomes of this research is that the test also identified 27 of the 30 patients with stage 1 disease. Finding these cancers early means earlier treatment and better prognosis," he added.