Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

PERSPECTIVE

Historian Joan Scott: 'Hardline secularism is as bad as hardline Islam'

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Shaking up the workplace: How employers face the challenge of automation

Read more

FOCUS

Even in Kenya, exiled Burundians fear for their lives

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Alibaba founder rolls back on pledge to create 1m US jobs

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Controversial or creative? Chef gets lobsters high before boiling them so they don't suffer

Read more

THE DEBATE

Breakthrough in Pyongyang? Kim promises to visit Seoul, dismantle nuclear sites

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Rapper I-NZ's 'This is Iraq': When music gets political

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: 'The Sisters Brothers' and 'Leave No Trace'

Read more

IN THE PRESS

Stormy Daniels's X-rated book attacks Trump's presidency - and manhood

Read more

Japan to trial 'world's first urine test' to spot cancer

© AFP/File | Urine samples are easier to administer than blood tests

TOKYO (AFP) - 

A Japanese firm is poised to carry out what it hailed as the world's first experiment to test for cancer using urine samples, which would greatly facilitate screening for the deadly disease.

Engineering and IT conglomerate Hitachi developed the basic technology to detect breast or colon cancer from urine samples two years ago.

It will now begin testing the method using some 250 urine samples, to see if samples at room temperature are suitable for analysis, Hitachi spokesman Chiharu Odaira told AFP.

"If this method is put to practical use, it will be a lot easier for people to get a cancer test, as there will be no need to go to a medical organisation for a blood test," he said.

It is also intended to be used to detect paediatric cancers.

"That will be especially beneficial in testing for small children" who are often afraid of needles, added Odaira.

Research published earlier this year demonstrated that a new blood test has shown promise towards detecting eight different kinds of tumours before they spread elsewhere in the body.

Usual diagnostic methods for breast cancer consist of a mammogram followed by a biopsy if a risk is detected.

For colon cancer, screening is generally conducted via a stool test and a colonoscopy for patients at high risk.

The Hitachi technology centres around detecting waste materials inside urine samples that act as a "biomarker" -- a naturally occurring substance by which a particular disease can be identified, the company said in a statement.

The procedure aims to improve the early detection of cancer, saving lives and reducing the medical and social cost to the country, Odaira explained.

The experiment will start this month until through September in cooperation with Nagoya University in central Japan.

"We aim to put the technology in use in the 2020s, although this depends on various things such as getting approval from the authorities," Odaira said.

© 2018 AFP