New hope for bladder cancer patients. How TUF-funded research has led to new test

TUF-funded research has led to a simple urine test designed to detect bladder cancer which could save lives, spare patients an invasive procedure and also save the NHS millions of pounds.

Developed by researchers at University College London, the UroMark urine test can detect bladder cancer in 98% of cases, examining 150 markers instead of the usual two or three. 

At present, people suspected of having bladder cancer undergo an invasive procedure called a cystoscopy. It is estimated that UroMark could save the NHS about £25 million a year by ending the need for unnecessary cystoscopies. 

“This is the first test to diagnose bladder cancer with a high degree of accuracy, and so is a game-changer in terms of cost to the NHS, patient costs and reducing the number of patients going to hospital” says Dr Andy Feber, senior research scientist at UCL and part of the team developing UroMark.

“The survival of bladder cancer patients hasn’t really changed in the last 20 years because we haven’t been catching the cancer fast enough. Patients, particularly women, are often diagnosed late with bladder cancer and often have to visit a GP several times with symptoms before detection, so they are harder to treat and the outcome is worse. But with this test we can detect the cancer earlier on and that will improve survival rates. This test could make a huge difference – a good proportion of lives could be saved.”

 Said Andy: “The Urology Foundation has been tremendously supportive, providing funding for this project and other bladder cancer projects too.  We are grateful to TUF for playing a critical and important role in this project.”


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