Molecular markers for transitional cell carcinoma of bladder

Judy Kleinmann, Yoram I. Siegel, Amnon Zisman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Superficial transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) has significant rates of recurrence and progression, therefore accurate urinary makers for early diagnosis and follow-up are essential. Urine cytology is the oldest marker, constantly used clinically and considered the "gold standard". In this review we will summarize the properties of different molecular markers for TCC and their yield compared to cytology. Briefly, the older markers - BTA stat, BTA TRAK and NMP22 are more sensitive than cytology, but their specificity is lower, especially in patients with underlying urologic pathologies, FDP (fibrinogen degradation products) analysis is rapid and the test is available clinically. It's sensitivity is higher than cytology for low grade tumors, but specificity is low. Of the newer markers, telomerase has a high sensitivity, and a specificity similar to urine cytology, but also has an increased rate of false positive results. HA-HAase (Hyaluronidase) and CK20 have promising sensitivity and specificity, but are still unavailable for clinical use. CK20 has the additional advantage of being able to detect premalignant conditions as well as predicting recurrence. The role of urinary markers in replacing cystoscopy and urine sediment cytology in the follow-up of TCC and in hematuria work up is still uncertain. It is possible that urinary markers in different panel arrays will have a role in the future for those indications and perhaps in the screening of populations at risk, such as smokers and workers exposed to occupational hazards.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)531-535+565
Issue number7
StatePublished - 1 Jul 2003


  • BLCA
  • BTA
  • CK20
  • FDP
  • Hyaluronidase
  • Markers
  • NMP22
  • TCC
  • Telomerase


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