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New Urine Test Could Help Detect Aggressive Bladder Cancer

Scientists measure protein shed by bladder tumors (November 29)

According to a new study published in the British Journal of Cancer, a simple urine test has shown promise in distinguishing between aggressive and less aggressive bladder cancers.

The test could quickly detect patients with the most advanced and aggressive forms of bladder cancer, helping to tailor and speed up their treatment, the authors say.

Researchers at the University of Birmingham in the U.K. measured the levels of a protein shed by bladder tumors in 600 patients. They found that higher levels of a protein called EpCAM in the urine were linked to more aggressive cancers.

Co-author Dr. Douglas Ward said: “This protein could be used to help doctors to decide what the best course of investigation or treatment for the patients is, and may prevent unnecessary delays.

“We’ve known for some time that the protein EpCAM is released from some tumor cells, but it wasn’t clear whether it would be useful as a way to decide the best investigation and treatment for patients suspected of having bladder cancer.”

The researchers are planning further studies to determine the benefits of urine biomarker testing in patients.

Source: Cancer Research UK; November 29, 2013.

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