Indian scientists find a way to detect hard-to-diagnose colon cancer

Detection of colon cancer is notoriously difficult. Photo: iStock

Coming events cast their shadows before, so says Thomas Campbell’s poem, Lochiel’s Warning. A team led by Sagar Sengupta and Swati Priya has identified six microRNAs, a biological substance whose elevated presence clearly suggests the onset of colon cancer — something which continues to cast a long dark shadow in the lives of many unsuspecting families.

Detection of colon cancer is notoriously difficult. Undaunted researchers are looking towards biomarkers to detect colon cancer at an early stage. When a woman becomes pregnant, her placenta releases the Human chorionic gonadotropin (hCG) hormone, found both in blood and urine. By detecting the hCG levels in the urine, one can detect pregnancy. This is an example of a biomarker.

The set of six microRNAs identified by Dr Sengupta and his colleagues helps colon cancer detection at an early stage. “These microRNAs are detectable even at stage......