Logo for Stony Brook University
News and Media Relations header
  • Search Press Releases
University News

 

New Non-Invasive Test for Urothelial Cancer Emerging

uro

Tumors (blue cells) of the bladder and upper urinary tract can be detected by UroSEEK, a new assay based on genetic analysis of cells shed into urine. Credit: Kathleen Gebhart

Stony Brook, NY, March 30, 2018 – Urothelial cancers of the bladder and upper urinary tract are among the most common cancers encountered worldwide. In the United States, urothelial cancers are among the most costly cancers to treat. With early diagnosis, followed by surgery, most urothelial cancers can be cured. Now an international team of cancer researchers including Kate Dickman, PhD, of the Department of Pharmacological Sciences and Medicine/Nephrology at Stony Brook University School of Medicine have developed a highly sensitive and specific non-invasive test as a biomarker for early detection of urothelial cancers. Details of this method known as UroSEEK, are published in eLife.

UroSEEK identifies genetic errors in cells shed into urine. The analysis scans for mutations in 11 cancer driver genes associated with urinary tract cancer and for evidence of chromosomal imbalance.

In the study, the researchers found that of 570 patients at risk for bladder cancer, UroSEEK tested positive in 83 percent of those who developed bladder cancer. The detection rate increased to 95 percent when urine cytology and UroSEEK were used in combination. They found also that of 56 patients with upper tract urothelial cancer, 75 percent tested positive by UroSEEK. In the future, the researchers say, UroSEEK will be applied to large patient populations to screen for bladder and upper urothelial cancer.

The research involved the joint efforts and multidisciplinary expertise of urologists, cancer biologists, pharmacologists, pathologists, oncologists, chemists and computational biologists from around the world.  Funding for the research was provided by Henry and Marsha Laufer; the National Science Council (Taiwan); National Institutes of Health; John Templeton Foundation; Conrad N. Hilton Foundation; Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, and the Sol Goldman Pancreatic Research Foundation.

 

About Stony Brook University
Stony Brook University is going beyond the expectations of what today’s public universities can accomplish. Since its founding in 1957, this young university has grown to become a flagship as one of only four University Center campuses in the State University of New York (SUNY) system with more than 26,000 students and 2,600 faculty members, and 18 NCAA Division I athletic programs. Our faculty have earned numerous prestigious awards, including the Nobel Prize, Pulitzer Prize, Indianapolis Prize for animal conservation, Abel Prize and the inaugural Breakthrough Prize in Mathematics. The University offers students an elite education with an outstanding return on investment: U.S. News & World Report ranks Stony Brook among the top 50 public universities in the nation. Its membership in the Association of American Universities (AAU) places Stony Brook among the top 62 research institutions in North America. As part of the management team of Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University joins a prestigious group of universities that have a role in running federal R&D labs. Stony Brook University is a driving force in the region’s economy, generating nearly 60,000 jobs and an annual economic impact of more than $4.6 billion. Our state, country and world demand ambitious ideas, imaginative solutions and exceptional leadership to forge a better future for all. The students, alumni, researchers and faculty of Stony Brook University are prepared to meet this challenge.

Contact: Gregory Filiano,    631 444-9343

 

 

 
© Stony Brook University