London: A simple urine test could help clinicians identify the level of bladder cancer aggressiveness in patients, says a study.
Validated in over 400 clinical samples, two urinary biomarkers -- epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) and a protein, epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM) - were found to be independent predictors of bladder cancer.
Higher levels of the biomarkers correlated with more aggressive cases of cancer and those with poor survival.
Measuring the biomarkers could represent a simple and useful approach for fast-tracking investigation and treatment of patients with the most aggressive bladder cancers.
"There is an urgent need for prognostic biomarkers that could guide patient management. If such a test could be delivered, in a non-invasive way, it could make treatment much more efficient and that can only be a good thing," explained Douglas Ward from the University of Birmingham in Britain.
Such tests would be useful in both newly diagnosed patients and existing patients, the researchers noted.
Being able to reliably identify those patients with the most aggressive cancers early via urine tests, and expediting aggressive therapeutic strategies, may significantly improve outcomes.
The study was published in the British Journal of Cancer.