UCLA researchers have shown for the first time that the quality of diagnostic staging using biopsy in patients with bladder cancer is directly linked with survival, meaning those that don’t get optimal biopsies are more likely to die from their disease. The two-year study found that about half of bladder cancer patients who were biopsied had insufficient material – meaning there was no bladder wall muscle retrieved – to accurately stage the cancer.

Additionally, the UCLA research team found that a suboptimal biopsy and incorrect tumor staging was associated with a significant increase in deaths from bladder cancer, said study first author Dr. Karim Chamie, an assistant professor of urology and surgical director of the bladder cancer program at UCLA.

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