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Tool discovered to detect bladder cancer

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 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  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, M.D., Ph.D.
Survival and treatment of bladder cancer is largely dependent on its stage at the time of diagnosis. A test that would detect the disease early would be of great significance, in addition to providing a new alternative to invasive, costly and sometimes painful cystoscopies and biopsies.
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 (55 and older), 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 percent to 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, comfort-ability  and pain are issues related to patients’ experiences with those tests.
For information regarding industry opportunities for this technology, contact Ryan Fiorini, Ph.D., at 876-1906, or Additional informa-tion regarding other revolutionary technologies and scientific breakthroughs can be found on

Friday, March 21, 2008
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