A test for the detection of cancer arising from the tissues of the urinary bladder, commonly called bladder cancer, has been developed by Prof. Adam Lesner and Dr. Natalia Gruba from the Biochemistry Analysis Laboratory of the Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdańsk.
“During the development of cancer within the urinary epithelium there is an increase in the activity of proteolytic enzymes, the enzymes that cause the breakdown of proteins” – Prof. Lesner told PAP and added that the test that was being investigated detected the presence of proteolytic enzymes.
He explained that about one millilitre of urine was sufficient to carry out the test and that colour change indicated the presence of cancer cells in the patient’s urinary epithelium.
Prof. Lesner noted that the proposed method, unlike the previous ones, is fast, non-invasive and, as has been demonstrated in previous trials, gives a clear answer. The researcher explained that today, in addition to endoscopy and ultrasonography, bladder cancer can be diagnosed by conducting a microscopic analysis of the urinary tract cells. “In the case of our test, we eliminate the subjective human factor” – noted Prof. Lesner.
The University of Gdańsk spokeswoman Beata Czechowska-Derkacz said that the method proposed by the researchers from that university had been tested on a group of 85 subjects (60 cancer patients and 25 healthy subjects) and tests showed its 100% effectiveness. She added that in the last days the university signed an agreement to carry out further trials, this time on a group of a thousand people. These tests will be performed at the Urological Department of the St. Vincent de Paul Hospital in Gdynia.
Prof. Lesner explained in the interview with PAP that the study at the Gdynia facility would not only allow to finally confirm the effectiveness of the test, but also determine the stage of disease in which it is effective. “I hope that this group will show us that, for example, the test shows the presence of enzymes already in the second stage of development” – Prof. Lesner told PAP.
He added that the effectiveness of the test at the earliest stage of the disease is significant because bladder cancer runs without any symptoms until a very late stage. He also explained that this type of cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the European Union.
According to Prof. Lesner, the tests at the Gdynia hospital will last from 6 to 8 months. If these trials prove the reliability of the test, the researchers will look for the best way to market it. Prof. Lesner noted that the method was already covered by the patent application.
Czechowska-Derkacz announced that the research conducted by researchers from the University of Gdańsk was financially supported by the UG Technology Transfer Centre in the Innovative Incubator+ project. “This support includes carrying out additional trials on a larger control group, intellectual property protection, and carrying out additional market analyses” – the spokeswoman said.
She also reminded that the Innovative Incubator+ project, which aims to “support pre-implementation work and strengthen cooperation between the scientific community and business representatives”, is being implemented by the consortium of the University of Gdańsk, Gdansk University of Technology, the Medical University of Gdańsk and the special purpose vehicle PG – Excento.
“Within the framework of the Innovation Incubator+ project, the Technology Transfer Centre of the University of Gdańsk announced an internal competition for co-financing commercialisation of research and development results” – said Czechowska-Derkacz and added that investment decisions would be made by the Investment Committee composed mainly of the representatives of business circles and investment funds.
This article was originally publishes at a website “Science in Poland”