Purpose: Previous studies have shown that telomerase activity in bladder washings and voided urine represents an important noninvasive tool for bladder cancer diagnosis. With the present case-control study conducted on 212 women, including 144 healthy individuals and 68 patients, at first diagnosis of bladder cancer we confirmed previously obtained diagnostic results and improved the accuracy of this diagnostic assay. Materials and Methods: Telomerase activity was evaluated by quantitative telomeric repeat amplification protocol assay and expressed as arbitrary enzymatic units. Results: At the best overall cutoff of 50 arbitrary enzymatic units sensitivity was 87% and specificity was 66%. A breakdown analysis as a function of age showed a higher assay accuracy in women younger than 75 years (sensitivity 91% and specificity 69%) compared to older women (sensitivity 64% and specificity 59%). Conclusions: Other reasons in addition to age may account for the lower specificity in women with respect to men. In particular, a high number of telomerase positive nonurothelial cells in urine from females could be responsible for false-positive telomeric repeat amplification protocol results. Urine telomerase activity detected by telomeric repeat amplification protocol appears to be a good diagnostic tool in females although it is more accurate in younger than in older women.
- urinary bladder neoplasms
ASJC Scopus subject areas