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Fox Chase Cancer Center research shows kidney cancer can be diagnosed in urine

Fox Chase Cancer Center researchers have demonstrated the ability to identify kidney cancer, including localized (stage I) cancer, in the urine of affected patients. What's more, urine tests were repeated following the removal of the cancerous kidney and none of the tests showed DNA evidence of disease. These research findings were presented at the American Urological Association Annual Meeting May 8-13, 2004 in San Francisco.

As with other cancers, an early diagnosis of kidney cancer can result in curative treatment whereas the prognosis for advanced kidney cancer is poor. The challenge in diagnosing cancer early is developing an inexpensive, noninvasive, accurate and simple screening test. A urine test meets these standards.

"We used a common laboratory procedure to test the urine of 50 patients with kidney cancer," explained Fox Chase molecular biologist Paul Cairns, Ph.D. "Forty-four of the 50 tests showed gene changes in the urine that were identical to the gene changes found in the tumor tissue taken at the time of surgery."

When the same test was conducted on the controls urine from people without cancer none showed the relevant gene alterations that were found in the urine from people with cancer.

"The test appears to be remarkably accurate with no false-positives in this study," said Robert G. Uzzo, M.D., a urologic surgeon at Fox Chase and lead author of the abstract. "In addition, one of the most impressive outcomes of this research is that the test also identified 27 of the 30 patients with stage I disease."

The researchers then tested the urine of 17 patients after they had surgery to remove the cancerous kidney. Mutated genes present in the urine prior to the kidney removal were not present in the urine after the kidney was removed.

"This step in our research further supports the accuracy of this potential screening test but also demonstrates the possibility of using urine to monitor the
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Contact: Karen C. Mallet
k_carter@fccc.edu
215-728-2700
Fox Chase Cancer Center
9-May-2004


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