Press Release
Sep 1, 2022
How diagnostics have been improved for Urologic conditions

September is Urology Awareness Month organised by The Urology Foundation which aims to raise awareness of urologic disease, raise vital funds to conduct important research and provide quality training to healthcare teams. Urology diseases affect areas of the body like kidneys, the bladder, prostate and the male reproductive system. Vital to our quality of life, urology diseases are becoming more prevalent and devastating lives. We want to take a look at how in vitro diagnostic medical devices have improved diagnosis of these diseases and how there may be further opportunities for medical device development.

The current tests or screening for diagnosing a urologic condition may entail one of the following options:

  • Kidney and Bladder Xray
  • Intravenous Pyelogram
  • Kidney Ultrasound
  • Antegrade Pyelogram
  • Kidney Biopsy

Whilst effective at being able to see what’s going on with the human body, they are largely invasive, time consuming and costly to the healthcare system and there are ways that biotechnology companies can help by developing alternative diagnosis options.

One of the most important areas for development is detecting biomarkers for urinalysis, to detect cancers including bladder, kidney and prostate. This non-invasive method of diagnosis would benefit both the patient and healthcare system but require higher values of sensitivity and specificity to be used on mass. In a recent article: Molecular Diagnostic Trends in Urological Cancer: Biomarkers for Non-Invasive Diagnosis, the authors discuss how early detection is pivotal for successful patient treatment: “If assays of these biomarkers are accurate and reliable enough, then they would be applicable for not only diagnosing and surveillance of urologic cancers, but also for screening at risk, asymptomatic individuals or even for routine screening of the population.” 

More recently, artificial intelligence has been introduced for the diagnosis and treatment of urology diseases which provides great strides in medical device development. In this article: Applications of artificial intelligence in urological setting: a hopeful path to improved care, the authors discuss how AI can be used for better accuracy of diagnosis and for monitoring responses to treatment: “As medicine advances to an era of “big data” with an increasing amount of complex healthcare data, ML can be a powerful resource in navigating, elucidating, and applying information.”

Looking at prostate cancer alone, it affects 1 in 8 men and is the most common cancer for men in the UK. The Urology Foundation (TUF) itself has conducted and funded much research into the faster diagnosis and more accurate treatment for prostate cancer. In one of their reports, they discuss Estrogen receptor beta is an important modulator of prostate carcinogenesis, exploring the important roles of the ‘female’ hormone and antibodies.  

Finally, the global increase in antimicrobial resistance presents challenges for urologic treatment and antibiotic choices. This makes the diagnosis all the more important to be accurate and timely, allowing the healthcare sector to treat it appropriately with more information and data than is currently known. There is also concern over routine urological practices becoming affected by multi-drug resistant pathogens.

As a biotechnology company ourselves, we have great interest in the development of diagnosis in this area as well as being able to support other biotechnology companies on the same mission.

We are currently working with Copenhagen University on a newly developed weapon in the battle against antimicrobial resistance which dismantles P.aeruginosa biofilms allowing bacteria to be killed by current antibiotics. You can more about this exciting project here.

 If you’d like to find out how we can support your research, diagnostic development or on the antimicrobial resistance campaign, take a look at our services.

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