Researchers from the Department of Pathology together with clinicians from the Center of Gynecologic Oncology (CGOA) of Amsterdam have published a feasibility study in which they are the first to demonstrate that endometrial cancer can be detected in urine by DNA methylation analysis with high diagnostic accuracy.
Patients with endometrial cancer at CGOA were asked to participate by collecting urine at home. Using an in-house developed procedure of urine collection and stabilization, urine was sent to the laboratory by regular mail and processed upon arrival. Following the same approach urine was collected from age-matched female controls. Part of the urine sample was fractioned by centrifugation and urine supernatant, sediment and full void urine were tested for DNA methylation. For all DNA methylation markers and in all urine fractions significantly increased methylation levels were found in patients as compared to controls. The highest diagnostic potential for endometrial cancer detection in urine was found in full void urine, with area under curve (AUC) values ranging from 0.86 to 0.95.
These encouraging data indicate that DNA methylation testing in urine could provide an attractive strategy for non-invasive endometrial cancer detection.
Potential applications of this diagnostic approach include the screening of asymptomatic women, triaging women with postmenopausal bleeding symptoms, and monitoring women with increased endometrial cancer risk.
Download the full article 'Non-invasive detection of endometrial cancer by DNA methylation analysis in urine', published in Clinical Epigenetics, November 2020