Open Access Open Badges Research article

Prediction and diagnosis of bladder cancer recurrence based on urinary content of hTERT, SENP1, PPP1CA, and MCM5 transcripts

Anne Sofie Brems-Eskildsen1, Karsten Zieger2, Helle Toldbod3, Cherie Holcomb4, Russell Higuchi4, Francisco Mansilla1, Pia P Munksgaard1, Michael Borre2, Torben F Ørntoft1 and Lars Dyrskjøt1*

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Molecular Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark

2 Department of Urology, Aarhus University Hospital, Skejby, Denmark

3 Department of Hematology, Aarhus University Hospital, Aarhus, Denmark

4 Roche Molecular Systems, Pleasanton, California, USA

For all author emails, please log on.

BMC Cancer 2010, 10:646  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-10-646

Published: 24 November 2010



Identification of urinary biomarkers for detection of bladder cancer recurrence would be beneficial to minimize the frequency of cystoscopy. Our objective was to determine the usability of urine content of mRNA in the detection and prediction of bladder cancer recurrence.


We analyzed 123 prospectively cross-sectional collected urine samples from 117 patients with bladder cancer (12 incident cancers and 111 control visits). We used biopsies from cystoscopies as diagnostic criteria for recurrence, and followed the patients for a median time of 28.5 months (range 0-44 months). We measured the levels of hTERT, SENP1, PPP1CA, and MCM5 mRNA in urine by q-RT- PCR.


We found significant differences in urinary content of hTERT (p < 0.001), SENP1 (p < 0.001), MCM5 (p < 0.001), and PPP1CA (p < 0.001) transcripts, when comparing urine samples from patients with and without tumor present in the bladder. We obtained sensitivity and specificity values for hTERT: 63/73, SENP1: 56/78, MCM5: 63/66, and PPP1CA: 69/63, respectively. Including follow-up data resulted in sensitivity and specificity values for hTERT: 62/84, SENP1:53/84, MCM5: 61/73, and PPP1CA: 65/66. Interestingly, at non-tumor visits the urinary content of especially hTERT (p = 0.0001) and MCM5 (p = 0.02) were significantly associated with subsequent tumour recurrence. Combining the markers with cytology improved the detection. The best combination was hTERT and cytology with a sensitivity of 71% and a specificity of 86% after follow-up. Further prospective validation or registration studies needs to be carried out before clinical use.


We could use the urinary content of hTERT, SENP1, PPP1CA, and MCM5 to detect bladder cancer recurrence. All markers showed a higher sensitivity than cytology. The detection rate improved when including cytology results, but also the combination of hTERT and MCM5 increased the detection rate. Furthermore, hTERT and MCM5 levels predicted subsequent tumor recurrences.