New Test Makes Bladder Cancer Testing More Accessible

A new, noninvasive test has been developed to diagnose and treat bladder cancer, according to a new study.  
Bladder cancer, which is one of the top 10 most common cancer deaths in the United States—with approximately 17,000 deaths in 2018—currently needs an invasive tumor sampling for detection. No method is currently available that can assess which therapy method a patient would best respond to and survival rates have not increased in 30 years.  
A joint team of researchers from Georgetown University Medical Center and the Chinese school Fudan University have developed a noninvasive method for testing that uses a urine specimen, also known as a liquid biopsy. Investigators compared the tumor biopsies and urine samples in 70 individuals. Both the tumor biopsies and the urine samples were processed through conditional reprogramming cultures. The overall success rate of the urine test was 84%.  
“This is the first study to show, using patient samples, that a ‘living liquid biopsy’ from urine can help determine treatment,” senior co-author and progressor of pathology and oncology at Georgetown University Xuefeng Liu, MD, said in a press release. “This work also suggests that we might be able to grow and test cancer cells for treatment from other ‘living biomarkers’ found in blood and saliva. We are just at the beginning of this diagnostic innovation.”  
According to the study, the liquid biopsies have the potential to change the current method of tumor analyses and help guide treatment. As urine samples are easily collected, the investigators said the new method will allow for closer monitoring and information on “real time pathological conditions.”  
Georgetown University Medical Center. "Technique using urine suggest individualize bladder cancer treatment possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 25 July 2019. 

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