Cancer Test Using Nematodes Spreading in Japan

Society Lifestyle

Tokyo, Feb. 15 (Jiji Press)--A new simple cancer screening test that uses urine and nematodes measuring some 1 millimeter in length is starting to spread in Japan.

Tokyo-based startup Hirotsu Bio Science Inc., which developed the method, hopes that the test will be used for first screenings to tell those with cancer from healthy people at a time when a number of people tend to refrain from having medical examinations amid the coronavirus epidemic.

According to Takaaki Hirotsu, president and CEO of the company, nematodes have a well-developed sense of smell and react to the odor of urine collected from patients with stomach and 14 other cancers. The accuracy of the test is 86.3 pct.

People hoping to undergo the test collect their urine samples, put them in test kits and take them to facilities of the company. The results will be available in about six weeks.

The test costs 9,800 yen. Hirotsu Bio Science set up facilities to receive samples in Tokyo, the southwestern city of Fukuoka and the western city of Osaka after making the test available last November. Over 10,000 people have used the test, according to company officials.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press