Measuring Certain Enzyme Activity in Urine Shows Promise for Detection of Bladder Cancer

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Bladder Cancer Detection

Measurement of an enzyme level (telomerase activity) in urine appears useful for detection of bladder cancer in men, according to a study in the October 26 issue of JAMA.

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The incidence of human bladder cancer has greatly increased over the last few decades, with more than 60,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States alone, and now represents the 4th most common malignancy in men and the 10th most common in women, according to background information in the article. At present, about 20 percent of patients die each year, but when the disease is diagnosed and treated in the early stage, the chances of survival are good, indicating the importance of a timely and accurate diagnosis.

Established approaches for detecting bladder cancer are either invasive and costly or have limited sensitivity, highlighting the need for the development of a noninvasive, reliable, and simple test to increase the rate of detection of bladder cancer. Among the markers investigated for this purpose has been telomerase (a certain enzyme) activity in urine.

Maria Aurora Sanchini, M.Sc., of Morgagni-Pierantoni Hospital, Forl

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