New Test Helps Spot Bladder Cancer
Quick Urine Test Helped Detect Bladder Cancer's Return
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New Test Proved Helpful
Grossman's study included 668 people who had had bladder cancer. All
participants got all three tests -- cystoscopy (the scope), cytology (the old
urine test), and the BladderChek test. The tests were done at 23 sites across
A total of 103 people were found to have bladder cancer recurrences. The
BladderChek test and cystoscopy -- taken together -- were best at spotting
bladder cancer's return.
Cystoscopy alone showed 91% of the bladder cancers. But the scopes missed
nine cancers. Those cases spanned several test sites, so they weren't one
office's faulty work.
The BladderChek test flagged eight of those nine cancers, including seven
that were particularly aggressive. The old urine test (cytology) only spotted
three of those cancers, the study shows.
The BladderChek test wasn't perfect. In some cases, it could prompt
false-positive results, the researchers write. Because participants were
already scheduled for cystoscopy, none needed extra procedures.
Other Tests in the Works
In October 2005, Italian researchers reported promising results from another
That test screens urine for an enzyme called telomerase. High telomerase
levels may indicate bladder cancer, the Italian researchers reported in The
Journal of the American Medical Association.
Telomerase tests "have shown good results in early trials but are still in
the investigational stage and are not approved for clinical use," write
Grossman and colleagues.
They add other tests are also in development but lack FDA approval and still
require the time (and expense) of lab testing. BladderChek already has FDA
approval for use in diagnosis and screening for bladder cancer, the researchers
Last year, Grossman and colleagues reported in The Journal of the American
Medical Association that the
did a good
job of identifying people in a smaller study who did and didn't have bladder
Both of their studies were backed by Matritech Inc., which makes the