"This is the first study of its' kind," said Sudhir Srivastava, Ph.D., who heads EDRN as chief of the Cancer Biomarkers Research Group in NCI's Division of Cancer Prevention. "It's the first study testing a marker for bladder cancer, and the first Phase III study for an EDRN-created test."
Bladder cancer, with over 60,000 estimated new cases this year, is both one of the more common cancers and one that has a high recurrence rate. Frequent surveillance of bladder cancer patients is critical, but current procedures have shortcomings. Urine cytology, which checks the number and appearance of cells in urine samples, often fails to detect early tumors. Cystoscopy -- examining the urethra and bladder with a thin lighted scope -- can give patients a false-positive result in addition to being invasive and unpleasant.
The new EDRN-created test looks to improve upon these weaknesses. EDRN, established by NCI in early 2000, is a broad, interdisciplinary consortium whose work is aimed at both identifying and validating cancer biomarkers for use in early cancer detection. Numerous proteins and genes have been linked with a variety of cancers, which can make them targets for therapy, as well as targets for identifying the risk of cancer onset, progression, or recurrence. The validation -- proving that the link accurately signifies the risk for or presence of cancer -- is the critical step to create a truly useful test.'"/>