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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

The relationship between serial measurements of the level of a bladder tumor associated antigen and the potential for recurrence.

PURPOSE: We evaluate the relationship between a serially assessed quantitative diagnostic marker (QDM) and the hazard function for the diagnosis of recurrence of bladder cancer. The marker is based on a bladder tumor associated antigen (BTA TRAK) assay. We present a rigorous approach to the evaluation of diagnostic markers to be used for recurrence monitoring. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Archival voided urine samples serially collected from 187 patients with a prior diagnosis of transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder were measured for BTA TRAK, an assay performed in clinical laboratories. All patients had been treated for stage Ta or T1 transitional cell carcinoma and were undergoing periodic assessments for recurrence. The results from the QDM were not used in case management. Time to histologically confirmed recurrence of transitional cell carcinoma was modeled using proportional hazard regression with the serial measurements of QDM levels and other variables as covariates. QDM levels are in the model as a time dependent covariate on the base 10 logarithmic scale. RESULTS: The estimated hazard ratio for QDM level indicated a 60% increase in the hazard for the diagnosis of recurrence for each 10-fold increment in the marker level (p = 0.013). CONCLUSIONS: A statistically significant relationship between the serially assessed QDM levels and the hazard for the diagnosis of recurrence has been established but the definition of optimum strategies for use of this relationship in clinical practice will require further study. Meanwhile, a prudent action based on the statistical relationship would be to shorten surveillance intervals for patients with high QDM levels.[1]


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