Frequently asked questions
This page provides answers to the most commonly asked questions about bladder cancer biomarker tests.
If your question does not show up here, feel free to contact us and we’ll be happy to answer!
What are biomarkers?
Biomarkers are molecules that can be measured to detect the presence or severity of a disease. A “biomarker” (short for “biological marker”) can be a protein, a metabolite, or a change in genetic material, such as a DNA mutation, RNA or methylation signal.
In the case of bladder cancer, biomarkers detected in a urine sample can provide insights on whether malignant cells are present in the bladder. They can serve as a surrogate marker for the disease, without the necessity for tumour tissue or visualisation. By detecting bladder cancer biomarkers in a urine sample, patients can be followed up without having to undergo an invasive procedure.
What are the characteristics of a good bladder cancer biomarker test?
A good biomarker test should be easy to use, providing the treating physician with objective, standardised results which are easily interpretable. For patients, the ideal test is non-invasive and can reduce the need for cystoscopy by providing results with equal or greater confidence.
The biomarker test should be able to detect bladder cancer (recurrence) with great accuracy. It should be sensitive and specific, with a robust negative predictive value (NPV).
Look out for the official European CE Marking, which indicates that the tool can be commercialised in the EU and that it complies with the regulations for in vitro diagnostic devices.
If you would like more in-depth information on the quality characteristics of biomarkers and a convenient overview of the available bladder cancer biomarker tests, make sure to download our free slide resource.
Can urinary biomarkers replace cystoscopy in the surveillance of bladder cancer recurrence?
With the ability to visually inspect the bladder lining, cystoscopic evaluation of the bladder currently constitutes the basis of NMIBC recurrence assessment. However, certain high-risk tumours (carcinoma in situ) are often missed by cystoscopy. A reliable urinary biomarker can serve as an adjunctive test to cystoscopy by improving detection of high-risk tumour recurrence. Additionally, the intense regimen of frequent cystoscopies imposes a great burden on the patient. A good urinary biomarker could replace 1 in 2 cystoscopies, avoiding unnecessary invasive procedures and thereby reducing this burden.
I am a treating physician interested in using bladder cancer biomarkers in clinic practice. Where can I request a biomarker test?
Have a look at our ‘Get the test’ section. After filling in your details, our suppliers will get in touch with you shortly.