Cell Receptor on Track for Painless Bladder Cancer Test


Contact: Heather Woolwine



March 10, 2008

Cell Receptor on Track for Painless Bladder Cancer Test


Detecting, monitoring bladder cancer at all stages steps away from home,
doctor's office

CHARLESTON -- 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, M.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 (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. For more information regarding industry
opportunities for this technology, contact Dr. Ryan Fiorini at 843.876.1906, or
fiorinir@musc.edu. Additional information regarding other revolutionary
technologies and scientific breakthroughs can be found on http://frd.musc.edu.

About MUSC

Founded in 1824 in Charleston, The Medical University of South Carolina is the oldest medical school in the South. Today, MUSC continues the tradition of excellence in education, research, and patient care. MUSC educates and trains more than 3,000 students and residents, and has nearly 10,000 employees, including 1,300 faculty members. As the largest non-federal employer in Charleston, the university and its affiliates have collective annual budgets in excess of $1.3 billion. MUSC operates a 600-bed medical center, which includes a nationally recognized Children's Hospital and a leading Institute of Psychiatry. For more information on academic information or clinical services, visit www.musc.edu or www.muschealth.com.