2000 Volume 91 Issue 7-8 Pages 579-583
(Purpose) The early diagnosis of bladder cancer allows for effective local treatment and optimizes the success of surgical therapy. Basic fetoprotein (BFP), measured using a rapid latex immuno-agglutination method, was introduced for the detection of transitional cell carcinoma. The objective of this study was to determine whether there was a correlation between urine BFP level and the grade or stage of bladder cancer, and whether the level could serve as a biochemical marker of bladder cancer.
(Materials and Methods) Single voided specimens were obtained from 66 patients with confirmed or suspicious bladder cancer on cystoscopy, urine cytology or BFP. Each sample was divided into 3 aliquots of which 1 was for urine analysis, 1 was tested for BFP according to latex immunoagglutination method and 1 was sent for cytological examination. All patients subsequently underwent bladder biopsy.
(Results) There were 54 (82%) patients with biopsy confirmed bladder cancer and 12 (18%) with benign conditions of the bladder. Overall sensitivity with BFP and urine cytology was 38.9% and 48.1% respectively. Specificity was 58.3% and 75.0%, and positive predictive value was 80.8% and 89.7%, respectively. The positive rate of BFP and cytology was higher in invasive cancer (75% and 100%, respectively) than in superficial cancer (36% and 28%). There was no correlation between BFP level and tumor grade, while cytology had a strong association. Linear regression analysis showed the significant correlation between BFP level and tumor size (r=0.695, p<0.0001). The detection rate of bladder cancer was higher by the combination of BFP and cytology than by using alone.
(Conclusions) BFP in conjunction with urine cytology can increase the detection rate of bladder cancer. But BFP alone cannot be used as a screening test for bladder cancer.