When it comes to battling cancer, early detection is paramount. A recent New Atlas article noted a new urine test that can detect bladder cancer up to 10 years before clinical signs appear. A long-term study from the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) monitored urine samples from 50,000 healthy Iranian subjects for a period of 10 years. The researchers were looking for mutations in the telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene, which are common in many cases of bladder cancer.
In the so-called Golestan Cohort study, 38 of the subjects developed bladder cancer, and 46.7% of them had TERT mutations. More importantly, no TERT mutations were found in a control group of 152 matched cancer-free subjects. Although it’s an early pilot study, the results were promising and could lead to a simple, inexpensive way to detect bladder cancer early and save lives.