Innovation

Here’s A Revolutionary Way To Diagnose Bladder Cancer

More than 80,000 people are expected to develop bladder cancer this year across the U.S. The American Cancer Society (ACS) said that among these patients nearly 17,670 may die from the disease. 

Researchers are offering a new and cheaper technology that could help doctors speed up diagnosis of the cancer even in its early stages. Currently available methods to detect bladder cancer are known for being costly and for low rates of accurate results. 

The research team from Spain developed “electronic tongues” that use sensors to copy human taste. The device is designed to examine biofluid to detect diseases, Medical News Today reported Wednesday.

To date, patients are diagnosed with bladder cancer through cystoscopies and urine cytology tests. However, health experts have raised concerns about the methods due to either being invasive or high rates of error. 

To create the electronic tongues, the researchers reviewed earlier studies of metabolic differences in the urine of people that developed bladder cancer. Some findings suggested using techniques, such as liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, to check the metabolic profiles of patients before and after surgery.

"There are several trials that have received the approval of the FDA — Food and Drug Administration of the United States — for their use in the diagnosis and monitoring of bladder cancer, but none of them improves the results of a cystoscopy," Javier Monreal, one of the study authors and a doctoral researcher at the Polytechnic University of Valencia, said. 

The new electronic tongues were developed using data from the studies for effective ways to test urine samples. The researchers said the tool also offers a cheap and easy-to-use process for diagnosing bladder cancer in its earliest stages.

"The preliminary results of this study, with a 75 percent accuracy rate, indicate that the shapes of current waveforms induced in urine through pulse voltammetry could allow, with an appropriate processing of the data, for a noninvasive diagnosis in the monitoring of patients with bladder cancer," Carmen Martínez Bisbal, one of the study authors, said. 

Immediate detection of bladder cancer is important since the disease is known for a high relapse rate. Monitoring patients could help improve treatment and manage their condition. 

Lab Test Researchers from Spain created a new technique to diagnosed bladder cancer faster and cheaper than existing methods. Pixabay

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