A reliable, noninvasive method for monitoring patients with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder would be of great clinical benefit. Cystoscopy is currently the “gold standard,” but it is invasive, expensive and uncomfortable for the patient. Recently, we demonstrated a novel approach for the detection of primary bladder cancer based on microsatellite analysis of urine DNA. To determine the feasibility of this technique for following-up patients with TCC, we tested serial urine samples from 21 patients who had been treated for bladder cancer with 20 polymorphic microsatellite markers in a blinded fashion. We detected recurrent lesions in 10 out of 11 patients and correctly predicted the existence of a neoplastic cell population in the urine of two patients, 4 and 6 months before cystoscopic evidence of the tumor. The assay was negative in 10 of 10 patients who had no evident cancer. Microsatellite analysis of urine sediment represents a novel and potentially powerful clinical tool for the detection of recurrent bladder cancer.
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Steiner, G., Schoenberg, M., Linn, J. et al. Detection of bladder cancer recurrence by microsatellite analysis of urine. Nat Med 3, 621–624 (1997). https://doi.org/10.1038/nm0697-621
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