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A noninvasive multi-analyte diagnostic assay: combining protein and DNA markers to stratify bladder cancer patients

Authors Fernandez C, Millholland, Zwarthoff, Feldman, Karnes J, Shuber A

Received 14 December 2011

Accepted for publication 15 January 2012

Published 5 March 2012 Volume 2012:4 Pages 17—26


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Cecilia A Fernandez1, John M Millholland1, Ellen C Zwarthoff2, Adam S Feldman3, R Jeffrey Karnes4, Anthony P Shuber1

1Predictive Biosciences, Inc, Lexington, MA, USA; 2Erasmus Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; 3Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, 4Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, USA

Purpose: The authors recently reported the development of a noninvasive diagnostic assay using urinary matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) as monitors of disease-free status and bladder cancer in high-risk populations. Using an approach called clinical intervention determining diagnostic (CIDD), they identified with high confidence those patients who could be excluded from additional intervention. To maximize performance, MMPs were combined with DNA-based markers and CIDD was applied to a population of patients undergoing monitoring for recurrence.
Patients and methods: Urine samples were obtained from 323 patients, 48 of whom had a recurrence and 275 of whom did not have cancer upon cytoscopic evaluation. Twist1 and Nid2 methylation status was determined using methylation-specific polymerase chain reaction, FGFR3 mutational status by quantitative PCR, and MMP levels by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Using a combination of these DNA and protein markers, the authors identified with high confidence (97% negative predicted value) those patients who do not have cancer. Cutoffs were adjusted such that at 92% sensitivity, 51% of disease-free patients might be triaged from receiving further tests.
Conclusion: The multi-analyte diagnostic readout assay described here is the first to combine protein and DNA biomarkers into one assay for optimal clinical performance. Using this approach, the detection of FGFR3 mutations and Twist1 and Nid2 methylation in the urine of patients undergoing bladder cancer recurrence screening increase the sensitivity and negative predictive value at an established MMP protein cutoff. This noninvasive urinary diagnostic assay could lead to the more efficient triage of patients undergoing recurrence monitoring.

Keywords: matrix metalloproteinase, FGFR3, bladder cancer, diagnostics

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