Colon Cancer Can be detected through Body Fluids: Research

Published: July 20, 2020

Dr Tatini Rakshit from SN Bose National Centre for Basic Sciences has come out with the research result that body fluids can be useful in the detection of colon cancer. The research has been conducted with the help of the team led by Dr Rakshit and a tool has been developed to identify colon cancer at a very early stage from body fluids like blood, urine and faeces (stool).

The new tool is going to be completely different from the existing methods such as Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), Enzyme-linked Immunosorbent  Assay (ELISA), electrophoresis, surface plasmon resonance (SPR), surface-enhanced Raman Spectroscopy (SERS), etc. and it has provided better and more accurate results.

Details

The research group has been working with Extracellular Vesicles (EV) at the single vesicle level to identify biomarkers non-invasively. Initially, these were thought to be garbage bags for the removal of unwanted materials for the cell but later the reality could be found out. A potential colon cancer biomarker molecule, Hyaluronan (HA), has been tested by the team that is present on the surface of lipid sacks secreted by cancer cells. EVs embody molecular information about the malignant tissue and hold a huge potential for convenient cancer diagnostics. The evaluation of cancer cell-secreted EVs from the body fluid, for example, blood, urine, stool, etc. has been done by the team of researchers and it is expected to be an effective and non-invasive method of cancer detection.

The team used an Atomic Force Microscope that utilizes a nano-scale finger to probe HA on the colon cancer cells. The test result has shown highly correlative results with all the other prevalent testing methods.

Colon Cancer

Colorectal cancer affects the large intestine and rectum is the fifth leading cause of cancer death in India. It is so fatal because mostly the cases are detected at a very late stage. In the last decade, the country has seen a rapid increase in the rate of colorectal cancer among the young people due to poor dietary habits, lack of physical activity, obesity, increased alcohol consumption and chronic smoking. The current methods are based on invasive techniques and also the subsequent evaluation requires special expertise. With the new method of treatment, the treatment is expected to be timely and that will lead to the affordable treatment process for this disease.

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