In addition, the scientists found that non-invasive tumors had a distinct pattern of hypomethylation compared with invasive tumors. This finding supports the idea that two forms of bladder cancer develop along different paths.
Bladder cancer can easily recur, Liang noted. "It requires frequent and invasive monitoring. We think these results are clinically useful and have benefits for the patient, because we can detect these methylation changes in the patient's urine," he explained. "So, we can use a noninvasive method to monitor the patient and may also be able to screen for bladder cancer in high-risk populations, like smokers," he said.
In a final report, researchers led by Sunita Setlur, an instructor in pathology at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, found no association between the gene variant UGT2B17 and the risk of prostate cancer. Although this gene had been linked to the risk for prostate cancer in two earlier studies, this new study found no such association.
For the study, researchers looked at 269 men of whom 156 had prostate cancer. The researchers looked at the number of copies of the UGT2B7 gene and found that although deletion patterns for UGT2B17 and UGT2B28 genes were between 3.4 percent and 19.9, this did not increase the risk for prostate cancer.
"We did not see any association between polymorphism of UGT2B17 and UGT2B28 with cancer," Setlur said during Tuesday's teleconference.
For more about cancer, visit the American Cancer Society.
SOURCES: April 21, 2009, teleconference with: John S. Witte, Ph.D., professor, Institute for Human Genetics, University of California, San Francisco; Charles Mullighan, M.D., Ph.D., assistant member, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
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