July 7 (UPI) — Researchers from the University Hospital of Lyon developed a simple urine test to more accurately predict the recurrence of bladder cancer.
The study, published July 6 in the British Journal of Cancer, tested the urine of 348 bladder cancer patients for a faulty protein known as TERT that was able to predict the recurrence of bladder cancer in more than 80 percent of patients.
The current method for detecting the recurrence of bladder cancer, cytology testing, detects the return in just 34 percent of patients.
“The standard cytology test needs a doctor to look down a microscope to read the results, but the TERT test is read by a machine which is simpler, more accurate and available to use straightaway,” Professor Alain Ruffion, a researcher at the University Hospital of Lyon, said in a press release. “While the TERT test costs slightly more than standard cytology, it is likely to become cheaper over time.”
The new test to look for TERT detected bladder cancer that had not spread to the muscle wall and before symptoms appear, which is earlier than cytology. The test was also able to distinguish bladder cancer from urinary tract infections.
“The fact that the test doesn’t react to urinary tract infections is very interesting because it shows that it is robust and unlikely to give misleading results,” Ruffion said.