New Urine Test Detects Recurrence of Bladder Cancer
Researchers at the Department of Urology at the University of Southern California Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center in Los Angeles have developed a non-invasive test to predict tumor recurrence.
A simple urine test may predict the recurrence of bladder cancer with 80 percent sensitivity and 97 percent specificity. The test looks for patterns of DNA methylation, the process where genes are activated or silenced. The researchers collected urine samples from 90 patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) over a seven-year period and analyzed for three DNA methylation markers.
Currently, the standard methods of monitoring are through cytology or cystoscopy. The tumor recurrence detection of these methods were only 35 and 15 percent, respectively, while the DNA urine test had an 80 percent accurate recurrence prediction.
The test is awaiting a larger-scale clinical trial before it can become a common practice in clinics and hospitals. Meanwhile, the research team has high hopes for its use not only as a recurrence diagnostic test, but also as a means of determining the effectiveness of chemotherapy in current bladder cancer patients.
Bladder cancer is most common in white males aged 55 years or older, but can occur in any person. As with most cancers, treatment may involve surgery to remove tumors or chemotherapy which may produce disabling side-effects. Long-term disability is a potential outcome of bladder cancer treatment due to the harsh treatment methods and high risk of recurrence.
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