18 Feb Moving Closer to a Urine Analysis Test for Cancer Diagnosis
MedicalResearch.com Interview with:
Muhammed Murtaza M.B.B.S. (M.D.), Ph.D.
Translational Genomics Research Institute
MedicalResearch.com: What is the background for this study?
Response: Liquid biopsies and cell-free DNA analysis using blood samples have transformed cancer diagnostics in recent years. We started this project wondering whether cell-free DNA in urine is a viable alternative to blood, since urine could be collected completed non-invasively. Our very first experiment showed the lengths of DNA fragments in urine very similar across healthy individuals, leading us to wonder whether urine was actually as randomly degraded as we had previously thought.
MedicalResearch.com: What are the main findings?
Response:Following this line of investigation, we found that fragmentation patterns in urine reflect sites of DNA-protein interactions in the genome. In urine from cancer patients, because cancer cells have a different set of DNA-protein interactions, we can find a higher fraction of DNA fragments that break in unexpected regions of the genome. Measuring the fraction of such aberrant DNA fragments allows us to differentiate urine samples from cancer patients and healthy controls.
MedicalResearch.com: What should readers take away from your report?
Response: Analysis of DNA fragmentation patterns in urine is a promising and cost-effective approach for developing cancer diagnostics.
MedicalResearch.com: What recommendations do you have for future research as a result of this work?
Response: Future research is needed in larger cohorts of healthy individuals to understand how variable fragmentation patterns may be between different genders, age groups, and co-morbidities such as patients with diabetes or hypertension. We also need larger clinical studies of patients with cancer to further understand how this approach can be applied across cancer types and stages
MedicalResearch.com: Is there anything else you would like to add?
Response: This study has been a collaboration between TGen, City of Hope, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Baylor Scott & White Research Institute. The study was supported through research grants from the Ben and Catherine Ivy Foundation, the National Cancer Institute (NCI) of the NIH, Science Foundation Arizona, and Arizona Women’s Board. Some of the authors of this study are co-inventors on pending patent applications covering methods described here.
Analysis of recurrently protected genomic regions in cell-free DNA found in urine.
BY HAVELL MARKUS, JUN ZHAO, TANIA CONTENTE-CUOMO, MICHELLE D. STEPHENS, ELIZABETH RAUPACH, AHUVA ODENHEIMER-BERGMAN, SYDNEY CONNOR, BRADON R. MCDONALD, BETHINE MOORE, ELIZABETH HUTCHINS, MARISSA MCGILVREY, MICHELINA C. DE LA MAZA, KENDALL VAN KEUREN-JENSEN, PATRICK PIRROTTE, AJAY GOEL, CARLOS BECERRA, DANIEL D. VON HOFF, SCOTT A. CELINSKI, POOJA HINGORANI, MUHAMMED MURTAZA
SCIENCE TRANSLATIONAL MEDICINE17 FEB 2021
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