Healthcare Blog

Cell Receptor On Track For Painless Bladder Cancer Test

August 26, 2017

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Foundation for Research and Development announced a promising new diagnostic tool to detect and monitor bladder cancer. Current tests for bladder cancer have shown to be accurate for only 40 percent of diagnoses. MUSC's new test has demonstrated 90 percent accuracy (100 percent specificity) in human urine samples of patients with various degrees of bladder cancer, confirming a newly discovered cell receptor's efficacy in diagnosing that cancer.

The new cell receptor is found on cancerous cells. When the receptor sloughs off the cancer cells, it can be found in urine and prostatic fluid (in men). The first of its kind, the receptor offers great potential as a non- invasive, easy-to-make dipstick or rapid urine test that could transform the screening and diagnosis process for bladder cancer. The receptor was discovered by MUSC's Omar Moussa, Ph.D., Dennis Watson, Ph.D., and Perry Halushka, Ph.D.

Patients undergo bladder cancer screening if they are determined to have certain risk factors including a previous diagnosis of bladder cancer, birth defects of the bladder, advanced age (over 55), or work-related exposure to certain chemicals. Bladder cancer affects males more than women, as well as more whites than other ethnicities, according to the American Cancer Society. The organization estimates that of the approximately 69,000 new bladder cancer cases in the U.S. this year, almost 52,000 will be in men. Current studies report that patients with successfully treated bladder cancer still have a 50- 80 percent recurrence rate, making this potential urine-based test perfect for home cancer recurrence monitoring. For the methods most routinely used to detect or monitor bladder cancer, convenience, comfortability, and pain are issues related to patients' experiences with those tests. The new diagnostic test from MUSC could eliminate the need for invasive tests like cystoscopy and biopsies that can be painful or cause medical complications.

Medical University of South Carolina
frd.musc.edu