Test Predicts Risk of Recurrence In Bladder and Colorectal Cancer

Posted on May 28, 2013 in Research

You’re newly diagnosed with bladder or colorectal cancer. Surgery is planned, but the doctors aren’t sure how comprehensive the radiation or chemotherapy plan should be.

Some people with early stage bladder or colorectal cancer are cured by surgery. However, others have a more aggressive type of cancer, and are likely to get a cancer recurrence.

A new test can help doctors determine the risk of cancer recurrence in bladder and colorectal cancer. The test detects a protein, PODXL, that is associated with early cancer recurrence.

The researchers state: “The study involved almost 500 men and women between the ages of 39 and 90. The patients with (bladder) tumours containing the protein podocalyxin-like, PODXL, had an increased risk of a cancer recurrence or of dying of the disease within two years — even in cases that were discovered early and only had superficial tumours.

We have previously shown that the presence of this protein in the cell membrane of patients with colorectal cancer increases the risk of recurrence or of dying of the disease. Now we have seen the same thing in patients with bladder cancer. The prognosis is poor even if the protein is only present in low concentrations.”

While the PODXL test is currently experimental, the scientists are hopeful of having a urine test available to physicians within the next few years.