Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?

28.05.2018

Kiel University research team proposes extracting genetic material for research and diagnostic purposes from urine in future

Urine is an everyday liquid which most people pay little attention to and regard as rather unpleasant. It’s quite the opposite for a group of clinical researchers from Kiel University, the University Medical Center Schleswig-Holstein (UKSH) and the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences in Kaunas, who are convinced of the diagnostic potential of this yellowish liquid.


The Kiel University research team would like to use urine instead of blood in future for cancer diagnosis.

Photo: Christian Urban, Kiel University


The leader of the study, Michael Forster, together with his colleagues Regina Fredrik (left) and Nicole Braun from the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at Kiel University.

Photo: Christian Urban, Kiel University

The reason for this is the genetic material that urine contains – especially the so-called cell-free DNA - which offers new opportunities for cancer diagnostics. The researchers in the lab were able to extract just as much as cell-free DNA from 60 ml of urine (about half a urine beaker) as from a 10 ml blood sample.

The research team is working on developing new procedures to extract cell-free DNA from urine for this purpose. Together with their international colleagues, the researchers from the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology (IKMB) at Kiel University have now published their findings today in the current issue of the journal BioTechniques.

The term cell-free DNA refers to fragments of genetic information that are found outside of cells in various bodily fluids. These DNA components originate when body cells die - but also when tumour cells die. They are initially released into the bloodstream, and from there also make their way into the urine.

The research team initially encountered a series of problems: the amount of DNA in urine differs greatly from person to person, and even varies significantly in the same person from day to day. This meant that the DNA concentrations in the samples were initially sometimes too low, so that the researchers had to increase the respective quantities of urine collected.

They also regularly observed that the urine of healthy women contains more than twice as much cell-free DNA than the identical amount of urine in healthy men. This factor must be taken into account in future cancer diagnostics, so that these gender-specific differences do not distort the results.

To date, tests for diagnosing cancer are mostly based on blood samples. Some of these blood tests use cell-free DNA, which may originate from a possible tumour, to identify certain types of lung and colon cancer. In the next twelve months, the scientists plan to carry out further research in the IKMB laboratory at Kiel University, to determine whether genetic material from urine is as suitable for clinical research and diagnostics as blood.

"To do so, we will examine available samples from study participants at the University Medical Centre, and compare the genetic traces of a tumour in the blood plasma and urine to determine whether both methods can reliably detect the disease," said Michael Forster, a scientist at the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at Kiel University.

In future, the researchers in Kiel hope to develop a urine-based test which is as reliable as traditional blood tests. This would primarily benefit patients, who would be spared the unpleasant blood withdrawal. In addition, such a test procedure would be faster and less expensive than the previous methods - for example, unlike with blood tests, no medical personnel are required when taking urine samples.

"In the United States, a similar test procedure is already commercially available for cancer research. Recently, an international research team also presented a new urine test, which has not yet been clinically approved, for certain tumours in the urinary tract," said Forster regarding the current state of progress. "The introduction of new urine-based clinical tests in Germany still requires several years of clinical research, as well as further cost/benefit analysis," continued the molecular geneticist.

The follow-up research will be carried out in cooperation with external clinical research groups, within the framework of the new Competence Centre for Genome Analysis Kiel (CCGA Kiel). The CCGA Kiel is Germany's largest academic high-throughput sequencing centre.

It has received funding from the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). Operating one of the four newly-created sequencing super-centres in Germany, Kiel University is servicing the exploding demand for complex genome analysis in the life sciences,.

Original publication:
Greta Streleckiene, Hayley M Reid, Norbert Arnold, Dirk Bauerschlag, Michael Forster (2018): Quantifying cell free DNA in urine: comparison between commercial kits, impact of gender and inter-individual variation BioTechniques
https://dx.doi.org/10.2144/btn-2018-0003

Photos are available to download:
http://www.uni-kiel.de/download/pm/2018/2018-165-1.jpg
Caption: The Kiel University research team would like to use urine instead of blood in future for cancer diagnosis.
Photo: Christian Urban, Kiel University

http://www.uni-kiel.de/download/pm/2018/2018-165-2.jpg
Caption: The leader of the study, Michael Forster, together with his colleagues Regina Fredrik (left) and Nicole Braun from the Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology at Kiel University.
Photo: Christian Urban, Kiel University

Contact:
Michael Forster
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University
Tel.: +49 (0)431-500-15136
E-mail: m.forster@ikmb.uni-kiel.de

More information:
Institute of Clinical Molecular Biology, Kiel University
http://www.ikmb.uni-kiel.de

Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel
Press, Communication and Marketing, Dr Boris Pawlowski, Text/editing: Christian Urban
Postal address: D-24098 Kiel, Germany,
Telephone: +49 (0)431 880-2104, Fax: +49 (0)431 880-1355
E-mail: presse@uv.uni-kiel.de, Internet: www.uni-kiel.de , Jubilee: www.uni-kiel.de/cau350
Twitter: www.twitter.com/kieluni, Facebook: www.facebook.com/kieluni

Dr. Boris Pawlowski | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells
12.12.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Smelling the forest – not the trees
12.12.2018 | Universität Konstanz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

Im Focus: Researchers develop method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Rice University engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that.

Rice engineers led by materials scientists Pulickel Ajayan and Jun Lou have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices...

Im Focus: Three components on one chip

Scientists at the University of Stuttgart and the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) succeed in important further development on the way to quantum Computers.

Quantum computers one day should be able to solve certain computing problems much faster than a classical computer. One of the most promising approaches is...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

New discoveries predict ability to forecast dementia from single molecule

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

CCNY-Yale researchers make shape shifting cell breakthrough

12.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Pain: Perception and motor impulses arise in the brain independently of one another

12.12.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>