Clinical evaluation of basic fetoprotein in bladder cancer

T. Ichikawa, Y. Nakayama, D. Yamada, M. Saegusa, S. Asano, K. Aramaki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The early diagnosis of bladder cancer allows for effective local treatment and optimizes the success of surgical therapy. Basic fetoprotein (BFP), measured using a rapid latex immuno-agglutination method, was introduced for the detection of transitional cell carcinoma. The objective of this study was to determine whether there was a correlation between urine BFP level and the grade or stage of bladder cancer, and whether the level could serve as a biochemical marker of bladder cancer. Materials and Methods: Single voided specimens were obtained from 66 patients with confirmed or suspicious bladder cancer on cystoscopy, urine cytology or BFP. Each sample was divided into 3 aliquots of which 1 was for urine analysis, 1 was tested for BFP according to latex immuno-agglutination method and 1 was sent for cytological examination. All patients subsequently under-went bladder biopsy. Results: There were 54 (82%)patients with biopsy confirmed bladder cancer and 12 (18%) with benign conditions of the bladder. Overall sensitivity with BFP and urine cytology was 38.9% and 48.1% respectively. Specificity was 58.3% and 75.0%, and positive predictive value was 80.8% and 89.7%, respectively. The positive rate of BFP and cytology was higher in invasive cancer (75% and 100%, respectively) than in superficial cancer (36% and 28%). There was no correlation between BFP level and tumor grade, while cytology had a strong association. Linear regression analysis showed the significant correlation between BFP level and tumor size (r = 0.695, p < 0.0001). The detection rate of bladder cancer was higher by the combination of BFP and cytology than by using alone. Conclusions: BFP in conjunction with urine cytology can increase the detection rate of bladder cancer. But BFP alone cannot be used as a screening test for bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)579-583
Number of pages5
JournalJapanese Journal of Urology
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes


  • BFP
  • Bladder cancer
  • Tumor marker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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