Bladder Cancer Footprint? Fox Chase Researcher Awarded NIH Grant for Diagnostic Urine Test
Posted: Friday, June 4, 2021
A $250,000 National Institute of Health (NIH) grant was recently awarded to Phillip Abbosh, MD, PhD, Assistant Professor at Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, for bladder cancer research. The 5-year grant will fund the development of a urine test that may be able to detect residual bladder cancer in patients who have undergone treatment before bladder removal.
Generally, a biopsy is performed to detect any remaining cancer in the bladder. However, there is a risk of residual cancer going undetected. The urine test is less invasive and promises potentially high sensitivity. It is designed to collect DNA strands released when tumor cells burst inside the bladder. Additionally, the test also captures DNA from whole tumor cells that are shed from the bladder walls and into the urine.
The urine test may also potentially confirm the absence of cancer, allowing a patient to avoid a cystectomy. “The idea is to use the urine test to sharpen the blunt tools that are currently available to us to clinically stage patients after chemo, so we could say with more confidence: ‘You do or do not have bladder cancer,” said Dr. Abbosh in a Fox Chase press release.
Future work will use the grant funding to analyze urine from patients with bladder cancer in five separate studies—including the RETAIN and RETAIN 2 clinical trials.