June 15, 2007 -- Scientists may have found a new way to test urine for signs of bladder cancer.
A protein called A1BG seems to be more common in the urine of bladder cancer patients than in the urine of people without bladder cancer.
That's according to researchers from the University of Florida in Gainesville and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. They included the University of Florida's Steve Goodison, PhD.
Bladder cancer is one of the world's five most common cancers, according to Goodison's team.
The American Cancer Society estimates that there will be more than 67,000 new cases of bladder cancer and about 13,750 deaths from bladder cancer in the U.S. this year.
Like many other cancers, bladder cancer is more treatable in its early stages. "When detected early, the five-year survival rate is approximately 94%," Goodison's team writes.
Voided urine cytology is currently the method of choice for diagnosing bladder cancer without invasive tests. But that test isn't always accurate and it doesn't deliver rapid results, note the researchers.
Bladder Cancer Study
Goodison and colleagues screened urine samples from five bladder cancer patients and five people without bladder cancer.
The scientists identified 168 urine proteins. One of those proteins stood out.
That protein, called A1BG, was found in all of the bladder cancer patients' samples. But it wasn't found in the urine samples of participants without bladder tumors.
The A1BG protein might make a good, quick urine test for bladder cancer and a possible target for bladder cancer treatment. But bigger studies are needed to test that theory, note Goodison and colleagues.
Their findings appear in the Journal of Proteome Research.