July 13, 2010

Older Men With Smoking History Needed For Bladder Cancer Screening Study

Men over the age of 60 who have smoked for at least 20 years are being asked to participate in a bladder cancer screening study at Baylor College of Medicine.

Currently, there is no established screening method for bladder cancer.

"We want to find a way to detect the cancer early enough to cure it," said Dr. Seth P. Lerner, professor in the Scott Department of Urology and the NCI-designated Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center at BCM and the lead investigator of the BCM site. "There are good data to suggest that the longer a man smokes, the greater his risk for bladder cancer. This is the high-risk group we want to encourage to enroll in this important study."
Cancer-causing chemicals in cigarette smoke pass into the urine where they can affect the bladder lining and, over time, cause cellular changes that lead to cancer. Blood in the urine is one of the first signs that a tumor may be growing in the bladder.

BCM will be one of four institutions involved in the trial, which will recruit 375 participants at BCM and 1,500 patients in the United States and Canada. Other trial sites include The University of Texas M D Anderson Cancer Center, The University of Rochester Medical Center in Rochester, NY and Laval University in Quebec, Canada.

Men who take part will be given at-home test kits that can detect blood in the urine. They will be asked to test their urine for blood for 10 consecutive days. If the tests are positive for blood, the researchers in this study will look for cancer cells in the urine, using three urine biomarker tests approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

They may recommend a cystoscopy (examination of the bladder with an instrument called a cystoscope) and/or imaging study of the kidneys as well as follow-up with a urologist to complete the diagnostic evaluation for blood in the urine. Participants may also be asked to take part in a study designed to identify genetic risk factors for bladder cancer.

Those who take part in the study will also be asked about their medical history, other medications and health conditions. Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer in men.

The study is being sponsored by the National Institutes of Health.


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