Washington: A Missouri University of Science and Technology researcher has developed a new screening method that uses urinalysis to diagnose breast cancer - and determine its severity - before it could be detected with a mammogram.
A study to confirm this technique`s effectiveness is under way at Mercy Breast Center in Springfield, Mo.
Dr. Yinfa Ma, Curators` Teaching Professor of chemistry at Missouri S and T, uses a device called a P-scan, to detect the concentration of certain metabolites called pteredines in urine samples.
These biomarkers are present in the urine of all human beings, but abnormally high concentrations can signal the presence of cancer.
Ma believes the levels continue to rise as the cancer advances.
Ma has had good results in limited testing and is now expanding testing in a larger study to prove that the technique works.
This blind study is part of the validation process required by the FDA to eventually make the P-Scan available in clinics across the country as an inexpensive, non-invasive test that could be used during routine physical examinations.
Once Ma and his fellow researcher prove the technology works for breast cancer, they can begin to determine if studying pteredine levels in urine samples is an accurate way to detect and diagnose other types of cancers as well.