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BRIEF TITLE: Non-Invasive Assays for the Detection of Urothelial Cancer of the Bladder and Kidney

Evaluation of Non-Invasive Assays for the Detection of Urothelial Cancer of the Bladder and Kidney

  • Org Study ID: 2002-061
  • Secondary ID:
  • NCT ID: NCT00872495
  • NCT Alias:
  • Sponsor: Lahey Clinic - Other
  • Source: Lahey Clinic

Brief Summary

The purpose of this study is to determine if analysis of DNA and protein material found in urine will be useful in the detection of urothelial cancer of the bladder and kidney. This analysis may be helpful to determine if how a particular cancer will act regarding remission and recurrence

Detailed Description

Bladder cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide. The rate of occurrence of
these tumors is highest in the developed countries, ranking as the sixth most frequent
neoplasm. Approximately 90% of malignant tumors arising in the bladder are of epithelial
origin, the majority being transitional cell carcinomas. Early stage bladder tumors have been
classified into two groups with distinct behaviors and different molecular profiles:
Low-grade tumors (always papillary and usually superficial), and high-grade tumors (either
papillary or non-papillary and often invasive). Clinically, superficial bladder tumors
(stages Ta, Tis and T1) account for 75-80% of bladder neoplasms, while the remaining 15-20%
are invasive (T2, T3, T4) or metastatic lesions at the time of presentation. Over 70% of
patients affected with superficial tumors will have one or more recurrences after initial
treatment, and about one-third of those patients will progress and eventually succumb to
their disease.

Previous publications from this Urology Department have introduced the idea of a
non-invasive, molecular-based assay for the detection and monitoring of bladder cancer
(Levesque et al. 1993; Fitzgerald et al. 1995). At the time of publication there was limited
knowledge of molecular changes underlying the different clinical pathways outlined above and
our assay was based on one gene (c-H-ras-1). In the last few years, it has become clear that
activation events associated with FGFR-3 can be found associated with 40%-60% of low-grade,
low-stage bladder tumors whilst p53 mutations are linked to a more aggressive phenotype
progressing via the CIS pathway. Mutations found in the c-H-ras-1 gene can straddle both of
these groups. We propose to assess the use of a multiple mutation-based assay, using DNA from
exfoliated cells in the urine of patients, to establish the sensitivity and specificity in
tumor detection compared to cystoscopy and cytology. In addition, we propose to isolate
free-DNA for use in molecular assays. The remaining urine will be stored to evaluate
biomarkers for the detection of tumor presence or progression using protein-based analyses.

Cancer Patient Group:

All patients harboring tumors and scheduled to have a cystectomy, cystoscopy,or
nephroureterectomy will be eligible for this study. This will include patients at first
presentation and those who are in follow-up. Urine samples collected at the time of a
procedure will be obtained from catheterized urine in the operating room. Urine obtained in
the clinic setting will be obtained via voiding, as with standard urine sample collection. We
propose to collect urine from study participants who have a cystoscopy on each occasion that
they visit the Urology Department regarding the treatment and follow-up of their disease. The
urine will be collected at intervals over a two-year period.

Control Patient Group:

The cancer assays to be tested use DNA analysis and antibodies to specific proteins as well
as functional assays for proteins to attempt to identify bladder tumor presence. It is
important to know whether other changes, including kidney stones, cystitis etc. cause the
release of the same DNA or proteins into the urine as was found in cancer patients. The
frequency of false positive results will determine the utility of the assay in the cancer
detection arena. A patient group of age-matched controls will be recruited from the
aforementioned patient populations requiring a single urine donation at the time of their
scheduled clinic visit.

The primary objective of this study is to evaluate the utility of emerging technologies in
the detection of bladder tumor cells using non-invasive approaches utilizing voided urine
samples. This will include methodologies than can establish the sensitivity of detection of
specific mutations associated with bladder cancer progression and the utility of this
approach in complementing cystoscopy and cytology. The mutation status of amplified DNA
fragments will be established using multiple molecular techniques. We will also isolate
free-DNA from urine and perform extended-PCR to ascertain the proportional representation of
large DNA fragments i.e. >1,500bp as an indicator of apoptotic activity and evaluate microRNA
profiles from the urine samples.

Urine-borne exfoliated cells will be pelleted from urine collections using centrifugation and
DNA/RNA will be extracted. The urine supernatant will be run over a DNA affinity column to
capture free-DNA for analysis. Nucleic acids isolated from these procedures will be analyzed
using PCR and various molecular technologies to establish the mutation status at different
gene loci. The remaining urine will be frozen and used in protein detection assays using a
panel of biomarkers with putative prognostic significance.

Detection of tumor presence will be compared in urine specimens undergoing mutational
analysis and the current standard of treatment (cytology and cystoscopy together). As
cytology is not performed on all patients, fewer urine specimens are expected in the cytology
and cystoscopy group than in the mutational analysis group. Therefore a comparative analysis
between these two groups will be performed using an analysis of variance (ANOVA) test where
significance will be set at p<0.05.

Overal Status Start Date Phase Study Type
Recruiting Start Date: September 2002 N/A Observational

Primary Outcomes:

Primary Outcome 1 - Measure: To evaluate the utility of emerging technologies in the detection of bladder tumor cells using non-invasive approaches utilizing voided urine samples.

Primary Outcome 1 - Time Frame: Ongoing Lab analysis for study duration: final data completion date


  • Urothelial Cancer
  • Cancer
  • Bladder Neoplasms
  • Urinary Bladder Cancer


Inclusion Criteria:

- Patients scheduled to have a nephroureterectomy, cystectomy, cytoscopy (newly
diagnosed bladder cancer and those with recurrent disease in follow up)

- Control Group: No known evidence of bladder cancer-one urine sample

- > than 18 years of age

Exclusion Criteria:

- < than 18 years of age
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Gender: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Healthy Volunteers: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Official Information

Name: Kimberly Rieger-Christ, PhD

Role: Principal Investigator

Affiliation: Lahey Clinic, Inc.

Overall Contact

Name: Kimberly Rieger-Christ, PhD

Phone: 781-744-2969



Facility Status Contact
Lahey Clinic, Inc.
Burlington, Massachusetts 01805
United States