Pioneering test to detect bladder cancer based on DNA

Using urinary DNA to detect circulating tumour DNA in bladder cancer patients

Image demonstrates how and which type of biomarkers get into urine

Demonstration of how and which type of biomarkers get into urine

Bladder cancer is currently diagnosed by inserting a camera into the bladder which is quite unpleasant for patients.

The Bladder Cancer Research Centre in the Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences, University of Birmingham, have recently developed a test to detect bladder cancer based on the DNA that the cancer releases into the urine – the GALEAS™ Bladder test.

As well as telling the doctor if the patient has bladder cancer, this test also tells the doctor what changes to the DNA (“mutations”) are causing the cancer in the patient.

Our latest study shows that, using this information from the urine test, we can look for exactly the same mutations in the patient’s blood. The presence of these mutations in the blood informs on how advanced the cancer is and how much it has spread.

We’re really excited to report that the “GALEAS Bladder” urine-based diagnostic test, which was developed here in Birmingham, shows promise as a one-size-fits-all for bladder cancer diagnosis and monitoring.

Dr Doug Ward, Senior Research Fellow and Theme Lead for Biomarkers and Proteomics

This new combination of urine testing and urine-informed blood testing may streamline and improve the way bladder cancer patients are monitored and treated.

Find out more about this new research in European Urology.