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Costly tests may not help detect bladder cancer recurrence, M. D. Anderson study finds
Date:3/3/2010

HOUSTON - In a new study from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, researchers found that cystoscopy, the standard for screening for recurrence of early-stage bladder cancer, is a cost-effective method of detecting tumors.

Adding other tests to cystoscopy increases the cost, as well as the number of false positives that may result in emotional distress and unnecessary procedures, the investigators include.

The study was presented today in advance of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Genitourinary Cancer Symposium. Jose Karam, M.D., a fellow in M. D. Anderson's Department Genitourinary Oncology, presented the findings.

"Our research potentially will enable clinicians to make judicious use of the available ancillary 'urinary markers,' which would translate into costs savings plus less anxiety for bladder cancer patients," said Ashish Kamat, M.D., associate professor of Urology and director of M. D. Anderson's Urologic Oncology Fellowship Program.

"The tests frequently added to cystoscopy have many more false positives than commonly believed, and they can lead to unnecessary work-ups. Our findings also may help reduce the cost of caring for bladder cancer patients, which currently in is the range of $4 billion annually," continued Kamat, the study's senior author.

Early-stage bladder cancer, or non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), has a high rate of recurrence. Patients are tested every three to six months, often for the rest of their lives, with the goal of catching the cancer early if it returns.

Cystoscopy is an outpatient procedure in which a tiny tube with a small camera attached is inserted through the urethra into the bladder. Doctors then are able to visually examine the inside of the bladder for tumors. Many times, in efforts to ensure accuracy and early detection of bladder cancer recurrence, other tests are added to cystoscopy.

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Contact: Laura Sussman
lsussman@mdanderson.org
713-745-2457
University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center
Source:Eurekalert  

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