A three-year study to validate a test to detect the recurrence of bladder cancer has been initiated by the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), at 12 centers* across the United States and Canada. This test was conceived and is being conducted by NCIs Early Detection Research Network (EDRN). By examining genetic changes in DNA obtained through urine samples, the test, if successfully validated, will provide a sensitive and non-invasive method of screening for bladder cancer recurrence.
"This is the first study of its kind," said Sudhir Srivastava, Ph.D., who heads EDRN as chief of the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group in NCIs Division of Cancer Prevention. "Its the first study testing a marker for bladder cancer, and the first Phase III study for an EDRN-created test."
Bladder cancer, with over 60,000 estimated new cases this year, is both one of the more common cancers and one that has a high recurrence rate. Frequent surveillance of bladder cancer patients is critical, but current procedures have shortcomings. Urine cytology, which checks the number and appearance of cells in urine samples, often fails to detect early tumors. Cystoscopy -- examining the urethra and bladder with a thin lighted scope -- can give patients a false-positive result in addition to being invasive and unpleasant.
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