A study published last week in Science Translational Medicine and led by Muhammed Murtaza, MBBS, PhD, Associate Professor in the Division of Surgical Oncology at Wisconsin Surgery, shows that it may be possible to detect cancer through urinalysis.
The study offers the novel finding that cell-free DNA in urine does not, as previously thought, degrade at random. Rather, the research team found that DNA fragmentation in urine follows patterns that differ between healthy people and those with certain types of cancers.
“There are many steps between where we are now and where we want to go — confirming cancer from a urine sample — but without doubt this is an encouraging first step,” said Dr. Murtaza. “We are eager to continue this research further and hope it will someday enable us to detect cancer earlier, which could improve mortality by enabling treatment at earlier stages.”