Typically, the pathway to diagnosis for endometrial cancer can be long, uncomfortable, and invasive: transvaginal ultrasounds, biopsies. However, this may be about to change. In a recent press release, Arquer Diagnostics (“Arquer”) shared the development of ADXGYNAE, a test using patented technology to identify cancer biomarkers in urine. Through this test, doctors are able to determine whether someone has endometrial cancer, or whether they can rule it out, in just three hours! Read the full study findings published in BMC Cancer.
Each year, an estimated 9,400 women from the UK, and an estimated 66,570 Americans, are diagnosed with endometrial cancer. However, many women who do not have this form of cancer are still subject to painful diagnostic testing, with only around 3-5% of tests coming back with a positive diagnosis.
ADXGYNAE works to diagnose Minichromosome Maintenance Complex Component 5 (MCM5), a cancerous biomarker found in urine. Typically, this biomarker is found following cancerous cell growth and proliferation. As endometrial cells shed into the urine, researchers can tell whether or not there is cancer present. If MCM5 is not highlighted, it is more likely that the woman does not have endometrial cancer. The test takes only 2.5 hours, with the results coming back within just a few days. In a study, enrolling 125 patients, ADXGYNAE was able to detect endometrial cancer with an 87.8% sensitivity. Since this study enrolled patients with diagnosed cancer, researchers believe that in a wider population, the tool can diagnose patients with up to 99% accuracy.
Beyond ADXGYNAE, Arquer also developed ADXBLADDER, a similar diagnostic tool for bladder cancer. Similarly, ADXBLADDER is able to identify or rule out bladder cancer with around 99% accuracy.
Endometrial cancer, which develops in the uterus, is caused when mutated cell DNA causes the rapid growth and proliferation of malignant cells. As these grow, the uterine cells develop into a tumor. This is the 6th most common cancer affecting females on a global scale, with the rate and prevalence continuing to rise. For example, in the United Kingdom, obesity and lifestyle changes have caused the rate of endometrial cancer to rise by 13% over the past 10 years. Other risk factors include hormonal changes, early menstruation or late menopause, never being pregnant, or hormone therapy for breast cancer. The five year survival rate for all cancerous stages is around 81%, says the American Cancer Society. However, patients have a much better prognosis if the cancer is caught in earlier stages.
- Pelvic pain
- Vaginal bleeding or spotting in between periods
- Unusual non-bloody vaginal discharge
- Heavy or irregular periods
- Pain during sex
- Vaginal bleeding occurring after menopause
- Unintended weight loss
- A mass (typically a mass can only be felt in later stages of this cancer)
Learn more about endometrial cancer.