The contemporary role and impact of urine-based biomarkers in bladder cancer
Despite advances in the surgical and medical treatment of bladder cancer, there have only been minor improvements in mortality and morbidity rates over the past decades. Urine-based markers help to improve diagnosing bladder cancer with the aim of complementing or probably in future replacing cystoscopy. Biomarkers may allow individualized risk stratification and support decision-making regarding therapy and follow-up. This review summarizes the existing urine-based biomarkers in bladder cancer. We conducted a comprehensive review of the literature. We conducted a PubMed/Medline based research on English language articles and selected original articles and review articles that provided both description and assessment of urinary markers at time of screening, initial diagnosis, monitoring and prognostic evaluation of urothelial bladder cancer. Our research covered studies published between 2000 and 2017. The aim of this study was to give clinicians keys to understand the existing or promising urinary markers that may become alternatives to cytology/cystoscopy pair in the near future. Many urinary markers are now available, often with superior sensitivity to cytology. Their uses have been evaluated in numerous clinical situations in addition to the time of initial diagnosis and surveillance such as cases of isolated macroscopic hematuria or atypical cytology discordant with the rest of the explorations. However, their superiority over the cytology/cystoscopy association is not demonstrated. These new markers are lacking for the most part of standardization and simplicity making their use in common practice difficult. the types and forms of these new markers are very heterogeneous among themselves and between the studies that evaluate them. Welldesigned protocols and prospective, controlled trials are needed to provide the basis to determine whether integration of urine- and blood-based biomarkers into clinical decision-making will be of value for bladder cancer detection and screening in the future.