The current clinical practice of invasive diagnostic workup, frequent recurrence following bladder tumor resection, and high propensity of muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBCa) for metastasis, contribute to the significant morbidity and mortality associated with bladder cancer (BCa); one of the costliest cancer to manage clinically. Painless hematuria is the common presenting symptom among BCa patients. However, only 15-25% of patients with visible hematuria and about 10% of the patients with microscopic hematuria actually have BCa. Patients presenting with hematuria undergo urological workup that involves cystoscopy and CT- urography. Cystoscopy is invasive and uncomfortable and both procedures associate with considerable risk for morbidity and are costly. Frequent BCa recurrence requires surveillance by cystoscopy every 3 to 6 months. Non-invasive biomarkers, including urine cytology, can reduce the invasive and costly workup among patients with hematuria or for those under surveillance for monitoring BCa recurrence. However, existing biomarkers are not used in clinic due to their sub-optimal efficacy and/or high false-positive rate. Further, biomarkers are not used for predicting clinical outcome in terms of metastasis or treatment response after a bladder removal surgery. In pilot studies, two new non-invasive tests based on a novel member of a glycosaminoglycan family, showed high accuracy to detect BCa, for non-invasively evaluating its grade and for early detection of BCa recurrence. Biomarker levels in BCa tissues correlated with clinical outcome. This project is designed to evaluate a hypothesis that this two urine tests can accurately diagnose BCa and non-invasively evaluate its grade among patients needing urological workup for hematuria, or to monitor BCa recurrence. Furthermore the tissue-based biomarkers accurately predict clinical outcome. The efficacy of both urine tests will be evaluated for BCa diagnosis and for evaluation of its grade among patients undergoing urological workup for hematuria (Aim 1). Efficacy of these urine tests will be compared to cystoscopy findings in patients under surveillance for monitoring BCa recurrence. The tests? findings will also be evaluated for predicting future recurrence (Aim 2). The biomarkers? expression in BCa tissues will be examined for predicting the development of MIBCa, metastasis and overall clinical outcome (Aim3). Impact: The study may result in two validated urine tests for non-invasively and accurately detecting BCa with grade evaluation as an added benefit. This could substantially reduce the number of patients undergoing urological workup for hematuria or surveillance cystoscopies for monitoring BCa recurrence. Tissue biomarkers, if found to be accurate prognosticators, could reduce unnecessary invasive bladder re-resections for MIBCa, and aid in early intervention and individualized treatment for patients with advanced BCa. Overall, if efficacious, these biomarkers could reduce BCa-related morbidity, and costs, while improving clinical outcome by early predictions.

Public Health Relevance

This study on the validation of two new biomarkers for non-invasively and accurately diagnosing bladder cancer, for monitoring its recurrence, and predicting clinical outcome in patients with advanced bladder cancer, could potentially reduce the invasive and costly urological workup among symptomatic patients but without bladder cancer, while concurrently improving clinical outcome through non-invasive detection of tumor grade, early detection of tumor recurrence, and prediction of disease progression.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Research Project (R01)
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Cancer Biomarkers Study Section (CBSS)
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Mckee, Tawnya C
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Augusta University
Schools of Medicine
United States
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