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Open Access Research article

Oncoprotein DEK as a tissue and urinary biomarker for bladder cancer

Antara Datta1, Martin E Adelson1, Yakov Mogilevkin12, Eli Mordechai1, Abraham A Sidi2 and Jason P Trama1*

Author Affiliations

1 Oncoveda, Tumor Biology Center, Medical Diagnostic Laboratories, A Division of Genesis Biotechnology Group, Hamilton, New Jersey, USA

2 Department of Urology, The E. Wolfson Medical Center, Holon, Israel and the Sackler Faculty of Medicine, Tel-Aviv University, Israel

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BMC Cancer 2011, 11:234  doi:10.1186/1471-2407-11-234

Published: 10 June 2011

Abstract

Background

Bladder cancer is a significant healthcare problem in the United States of America with a high recurrence rate. Early detection of bladder cancer is essential for removing the tumor with preservation of the bladder, avoiding metastasis and hence improving prognosis and long-term survival. The objective of this study was to analyze the presence of DEK protein in voided urine of bladder cancer patients as a urine-based bladder cancer diagnostic test.

Methods

We examined the expression of DEK protein by western blot in 38 paired transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) bladder tumor tissues and adjacent normal tissue. The presence of DEK protein in voided urine was analyzed by western blot in 42 urine samples collected from patients with active TCC, other malignant urogenital disease and healthy individuals.

Results

The DEK protein is expressed in 33 of 38 bladder tumor tissues with no expression in adjacent normal tissue. Based on our sample size, DEK protein is expressed in 100% of tumors of low malignant potential, 92% of tumors of low grade and in 71% of tumors of high grade. Next, we analyzed 42 urine samples from patients with active TCC, other malignant urogenital disease, non-malignant urogenital disease and healthy individuals for DEK protein expression by western blot analysis. We are the first to show that the DEK protein is present in the urine of bladder cancer patients. Approximately 84% of TCC patient urine specimens were positive for urine DEK.

Conclusion

Based on our pilot study of 38 bladder tumor tissue and 42 urine samples from patients with active TCC, other malignant urogenital disease, non-malignant urogenital disease and healthy individuals; DEK protein is expressed in bladder tumor tissue and voided urine of bladder cancer patients. The presence of DEK protein in voided urine is potentially a suitable biomarker for bladder cancer and that the screening for the presence of DEK protein in urine can be explored as a noninvasive diagnostic test for bladder cancer.