We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. To learn more, click here. By continuing to use our site, you accept our use of cookies. Cookie Policy.

Features Partner Sites Information LinkXpress
Sign In
Advertise with Us

Download Mobile App

Urine-Based Test Detects Head and Neck Cancer

By LabMedica International staff writers
Posted on 18 Apr 2024
Print article
Image: The test can detect tumor DNA fragments in urine samples (Photo courtesy of 123RF)
Image: The test can detect tumor DNA fragments in urine samples (Photo courtesy of 123RF)

Human papillomavirus (HPV) is well-known for its role in causing cervical cancer and is also increasingly identified as being responsible for cancers in the mouth, throat, and other areas of the head and neck. Early detection of cancer is essential, as it greatly improves patient outcomes. Now, a new urine-based test that can detect DNA fragments shed by head and neck tumors could potentially enable earlier detection of these cancers, which currently lack effective screening techniques.

The research team at the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI, USA) utilized whole genome sequencing to show that cell-free DNA fragments found in urine, which originate from tumor cells and pass from the bloodstream through the kidneys, are predominantly ultra-short, with less than 50 base pairs. Their small size makes detection difficult using traditional urine or blood-based liquid biopsy tests for circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA). Currently in the experimental stage, this mail-in test has been provided to research participants located more than a hundred miles from Ann Arbor. These participants collect their urine samples and send them back to the University of Michigan lab for analysis, which determines the presence or absence of head and neck cancer.

Although the focus of the initial studies was on head and neck cancer, the methodology has the potential to be broadened to include other types of cancer. For instance, the team also demonstrated the ability of this test to detect ctDNA in urine from patients with breast cancer and acute myeloid leukemia, paving the way for further applications of urine-based testing in other cancers. One of the most significant findings from this research was the test's ability to detect cancer recurrences much earlier than traditional clinical imaging methods would allow. Thus, this innovative approach could revolutionize the early detection and monitoring of cancer.

“Many people are not aware that urine carries information about many different cancer types, although it is made in the kidneys. Our findings about the difference in ctDNA fragment sizes and the test we developed for HPV-positive head and neck cancer detection provide crucial information on how urine-based diagnostic assays can be developed for different cancers,” said study co-first author and research specialist Chandan Bhambhani, Ph.D. “Further, these types of tests are likely to have a much higher compliance in patients requiring follow-up testing post treatment, due to the convenience of self-collection of samples, when compared to blood-based assays.”

Related Links:
University of Michigan

Platinum Member
COVID-19 Rapid Test
OSOM COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test
Magnetic Bead Separation Modules
Complement 3 (C3) Test
GPP-100 C3 Kit
Gold Member
Plasma Control
Plasma Control Level 1

Print article


Clinical Chemistry

view channel
Image: The 3D printed miniature ionizer is a key component of a mass spectrometer (Photo courtesy of MIT)

3D Printed Point-Of-Care Mass Spectrometer Outperforms State-Of-The-Art Models

Mass spectrometry is a precise technique for identifying the chemical components of a sample and has significant potential for monitoring chronic illness health states, such as measuring hormone levels... Read more


view channel
Image: The CAPILLARYS 3 DBS devices have received U.S. FDA 510(k) clearance (Photo courtesy of Sebia)

Next Generation Instrument Screens for Hemoglobin Disorders in Newborns

Hemoglobinopathies, the most widespread inherited conditions globally, affect about 7% of the population as carriers, with 2.7% of newborns being born with these conditions. The spectrum of clinical manifestations... Read more


view channel
Image: The AI predictive model identifies the most potent cancer killing immune cells for use in immunotherapies (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

AI Predicts Tumor-Killing Cells with High Accuracy

Cellular immunotherapy involves extracting immune cells from a patient's tumor, potentially enhancing their cancer-fighting capabilities through engineering, and then expanding and reintroducing them into the body.... Read more


view channel
Image: The T-SPOT.TB test is now paired with the Auto-Pure 2400 liquid handling platform for accurate TB testing (Photo courtesy of Shutterstock)

Integrated Solution Ushers New Era of Automated Tuberculosis Testing

Tuberculosis (TB) is responsible for 1.3 million deaths every year, positioning it as one of the top killers globally due to a single infectious agent. In 2022, around 10.6 million people were diagnosed... Read more


view channel
Image: A view of the brain with perturbation expression (Photo courtesy of Scripps Research)

Groundbreaking CRISPR Screen Technology Rapidly Determines Disease Mechanism from Tissues

Thanks to over a decade of advancements in human genetics, scientists have compiled extensive lists of genetic variations linked to a wide array of human diseases. However, understanding how a gene contributes... Read more
Copyright © 2000-2024 Globetech Media. All rights reserved.