Bladder cancer :: Test helps diagnose bladder cancer

Testing for a certain protein in urine has been found to increase the accuracy for diagnosis of bladder cancer, Houston researchers report.

A combination of methods is used for diagnosis of bladder cancer because no single procedure detects all malignancies. Urine tests are frequently part of an evaluation, but have either been nonspecific for cancer or required specialized analysis at a laboratory, according to Dr. H. Barton Grossman of the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Patients at risk for malignancy of the urinary tract provided a urine sample for analysis of NMP22 protein and cytology prior to cystoscopy — visual examination of the bladder using a special instrument that is passed through the urethra.

“In conclusion, the NMP22 assay may be a useful adjunct to cystoscopy for diagnosing bladder cancer,” Grossman said. “Studies in different patient populations are necessary to further define the role of this assay in patients with risk factors and symptoms suggestive of possible bladder cancer.”

The findings appear in Journal of the American Medical Association.

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