A team of scientists from the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has developed a new technique that detects prostate cancer in patients with almost 100% accuracy within 20 minutes using only a urine sample. The research was funded by the Ministry of Science and ICT (MSIT) and the results are published in the latest issue of ACS Nano.
The team, led by Dr. Kwan Hyi Lee from the Biomaterials Research Center and Professor In Gab Jeong from Asan Medical Center, introduced a smart A.I. analysis method to an electrical-signal-based ultrasensitive biosensor for the new technique, according to Phys.org.
“This research developed a smart biosensor that can rapidly diagnose prostate cancer with almost 100 percent accuracy only through a urine test, and it can be further used in the precise diagnoses of other cancers via a urine test,” Dr. Lee said.
So far, urine-based biosensors are only used for classifying risk factors and not an accurate diagnosis in patients because the concentration of cancer factors in urine is considered low. Most people opt for an invasive biopsy to determine cancer, but it comes with side effects, such as bleeding and pain.
Lee’s team was able to develop a technique that increases diagnostic accuracy to 90% by detecting one factor, but they found a way to increase that even more to almost 100% by detecting for four different kinds of cancer factors simultaneously, according to EurekAlert!.
The group created an ultrasensitive semiconductor sensor system that measured traces of the four selected cancer factors in the urine. They achieved this by training an A.I. to find the correlation between the four cancer factors to create an algorithm. The system then analyzes the complex patterns of the detected signals and aid with the prostate cancer diagnosis.
In their experiment, the system produced a 100% accuracy rate after the team utilizes the A.I. analysis system by successfully detecting prostate cancer in 76 urinary samples.
This new method also decreases medical costs and stress on the medical staff.
“For patients who need surgery and/or treatments, cancer will be diagnosed with high accuracy by using urine to minimize unnecessary biopsy and treatments, which can dramatically reduce medical costs and medical staff’s fatigue,” Professor Jeong said.