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Curr Opin Urol. 2009 Sep;19(5):488-93. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e32832eb3a0.

Potential new urinary markers in the early detection of bladder cancer.

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  • 1Departments of Urology, University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, Miami, Florida 33101, USA.



Bladder cancer remains a highly prevalent and lethal malignancy. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment have been shown to improve survival at both initial diagnosis and recurrence. A vast number of tumor markers have been identified and rigorously evaluated in attempts to improve noninvasive diagnostic accuracy of bladder cancer. Hematuria was the first tumor marker in a field that has grown to include soluble markers, cell-surface antigens, cell-cycle-related proteins, and genetic alterations. We aim to provide a critical appraisal of newer markers and the current state of research.


The number of tumor markers identified has been exponentially increasing. For a variety of reasons, many are unsuitable for clinical practice. More promising recent markers include those discovered in the fields of genomics, proteomics, and epigenetics. Much of the recent work is focused on molecular genetic pathways in bladder cancer.


The field of bladder cancer tumor markers remains a rapidly evolving area in which newer markers are constantly identified, evaluated, and often discarded if they do not add significantly to the urologists' armamentarium. Newer markers rely on genetic rearrangements, molecular changes, and cell-cycle-related proteins. Work is currently being done to identify the most promising markers.

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