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Advances in Urology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 693631, 7 pages
Review Article

Urine Telomerase for Diagnosis and Surveillance of Bladder Cancer

Medical Oncology Department, Hospital Universitario La Paz, 28046 Madrid, Spain

Received 21 March 2012; Revised 31 May 2012; Accepted 4 June 2012

Academic Editor: Martin Schostak

Copyright © 2012 Angela Lamarca and Jorge Barriuso. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Bladder cancer has increased incidence during last decades. For those patients with nonmuscle involved tumors, noninvasive diagnosis test and surveillance methods must be designed to avoid current cystoscopies that nowadays are done regularly in a lot of patients. Novel urine biomarkers have been developed during last years. Telomerase is important in cancer biology, improving the division capacity of cancer cells. Even urinary telomerase could be a potentially useful urinary tumor marker; its use for diagnosis of asymptomatic and symptomatic patients or its impact during surveillance is still unknown. Moreover, there will need to be uniformity and standardization in the assays before it can become useful in clinical practice. It does not seem to exist a real difference between the most classical assays for the detection of urine telomerase (TRAP and hTERT). However, the new detection methods with modified TeloTAGGG telomerase or with gold nanoparticles must also be taken into consideration for the correct development of this diagnosis method. Maybe the target population would be the high-risk groups within screening programs. To date there is no enough evidence to use it alone and to eliminate cystoscopies from the diagnosis and surveillance of these patients. The combination with cytology or FISH is still preferred.