NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – A team of investigators at Oslo University in Hospital in Norway has developed a digital PCR-based assay for detecting urinary bladder cancer recurrence that they hope to finalize by year end.
The test surveys patient urine samples for methylation markers associated with the disease, and is being developed as an alternative to invasive cystoscopy, the current standard of care.
“If we could replace invasive cystoscopy with a noninvasive urine test, that would be of interest for the patient group and have a huge commercial value because it would really decrease the costs of the disease,” said Guro Lind, head of Oslo University Hospital’s epigenetics group, who is leading the test development effort.
While urinary bladder cancer does not have the high mortality rate or prevalence of some other cancers, it is still the fourth most common cancer type in men in the US, and is one of the more expensive cancers to treat due to a recurrence rate of up to 70 percent in patients who have undergone surgery to have their tumors removed.
Lind said that about 1,700 people develop the cancer in Norway each year, and roughly 11,000 people have been diagnosed with the