Biomarkers may significantly reduce the burden of monitoring for tumour recurrence
Most bladder tumours do not invade the muscle of the bladder, meaning that they are confined to the inner layers of the bladder. These tumours are called non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). If you have been treated for NMIBC in the past, there is a high risk of tumour recurrence. It is important that regular follow-up visits are planned so that treatment can be started as soon as possible in case a tumour recurs.
Currently, the recommended procedures for follow-up are cystoscopy combined with cytology to detect tumour cells. In general, these procedures are scheduled every 3 months in the beginning and reduced in frequency over time, if the tumour does not recur. Cystoscopy is an invasive procedure often causing pain and discomfort during and after the procedure.
A simple urine test can measure the presence of biomarkers indicating a recurrence of a bladder tumour
The ideal biomarker test will:
- Rule out bladder tumour recurrence with a high level of confidence
- Be able to detect tumour markers in a urine sample instead of an invasive procedure
- Reassure you that no high-risk bladder tumour was missed in case of a negative result
- Make sure that the chances of getting a positive test result is low when there is no tumour in the bladder
The reliable outcomes of this biomarker test would allow your physician to safely reduce the number of cystoscopies, in favour of a simple urinary test.
Are you a non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patient who is being monitored for recurrence of a bladder tumour?
- Witjes JA, Morote J, Cornel EB, et al. Eur Urol Oncol 2018;1:307-13.
Prof. Fred Witjes, Radboud UMC
Rob de Vos