ST. LOUIS, April 13 (UPI) -- U.S. medical researchers say they have identified a pair of proteins secreted in the urine that might lead to a urine test for kidney cancer.
Washington University School of Medicine scientists in St. Louis said their study is the first to identify proteins secreted in urine that appear to accurately reveal the presence of about 90 percent of all kidney cancers. Currently, there is no diagnostic test for kidney cancer, with about 80 percent of kidney tumors discovered incidentally, during a CT scan or ultrasound test that has been ordered for an unrelated abdominal complaint.
"Kidney cancer is a silent and frequently fatal cancer," said Dr. Evan Kharasch, who led the study. "More than 80 percent of patients die within two years of diagnosis, and more than 95 percent die within five years because by the time the cancer is detected, it often has spread beyond the kidney. When it is identified early, however, kidney cancer is curable in a very high percentage of individuals."
The scientists say much in the same way mammograms are used to screen for breast cancer and blood tests to screen for prostate cancer, there might be an opportunity to detect specific proteins in urine as a way to screen for kidney cancer.
The research is presented in the early online edition of the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings.