2021 - Cancers

Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is the most frequent malignancy of the urinary system and is ranked the sixth most diagnosed cancer in men worldwide. Around 70-75% of newly diagnosed UC manifests as the non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) subtype, which can be treated by a transurethral resection of the tumor. However, patients require life-long monitoring due to its high rate of recurrence. The current gold standard for UC diagnosis, prognosis, and disease surveillance relies on a combination of cytology and cystoscopy, which is invasive, costly, and associated with comorbidities. Hence, there is considerable interest in the development of highly specific and sensitive urinary biomarkers for the non-invasive early detection of UC. In this review, we assess the performance of current diagnostic assays for UC and highlight some of the most promising biomarkers investigated to date. We also highlight some of the recent advances in single-cell technologies that may offer a paradigm shift in the field of UC biomarker discovery and precision diagnostics.

Keywords: biomarker; circulating tumor cells; cystoscopy; cytology; diagnostics; non-invasive; single cell; urothelial carcinoma.

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