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J Urol. 1988 Sep;140(3):672-7.

Detection of tumor cells in bladder washings by a monoclonal antibody to human bladder tumor-associated antigen.

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  • 1Urology Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston 02114.


We have conducted two studies to evaluate the efficacy of using a specific monoclonal antibody (McAb) to detect exfoliated tumor cells in bladder washings. This is a preliminary step toward the development of immunological methods to improve the cytologic detection of bladder carcinoma. In this study, McAb 3G2-C6 was used. The McAb reacts to a bladder tumor-associated cell-surface antigen expressed in bladder tumors of various grades. Bladder washings from patients with and without carcinoma were stained with the McAb using two different indirect immunofluorescence methods (Methods A and B). The results of the immunological studies were compared with those obtained from the cytology laboratory and these in turn, were evaluated against the histopathological diagnosis of respective patients at the time the samples were taken. Immunofluorescence method A detected positive cells in 87% (56/64) of specimens from bladder cancer patients, including 18 of 19 from patients with grade 1 tumor. This method also had a low false-positive rate; only one of 17 specimens from patients with other urinary disorders had positively reacting cells. Immunofluorescence method B, evaluating a second group of specimens, detected positive cells in 68% (15/22) of specimens from patients with carcinoma, and in only one of 17 controls. However, it also identified positive cells in specimens from patients with chronic cystitis and urinary calculi. Overall the results of these studies indicate that the McAb method is superior to the routine cytology in detecting tumor cells in bladder washing specimens. More work must be done, however, to improve the specificity of the method before it can be used as an aid for routine tumor detection.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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