Sci Rep. 2020 Nov 2;10(1):18844. doi: 10.1038/s41598-020-74807-1.
Urinary bladder cancer is a common malignancy in Egypt, thus reliable methodologies are required for screening and early detection. In this study, we analyzed the gene expression of a Schistosoma hematobium specific microRNA "Sha-miR-71a" and mitogen-associated protein kinase-3 (MAPK-3) in the urine samples of 50 bladder cancer patients and 50 patients with benign bilharzial cystitis. Fifty control subjects were also tested. Indirect hemagglutination test (IHA) diagnosed 70% of studied cancer
cases as bilharzial associated bladder cancer (BBC), while histopathological examination detected only 18%. Urinary Sha-miR-71a & MAPK-3 revealed enhanced expression in BBC (p-value = 0.001) compared to non-bilharzial bladder cancer (NBBC) cases. Patients with chronic bilharzial cystitis exhibited a significant increase in gene expression compared to those with acute infection (p-value = 0.001). Sha-miR-71a and MAPK-3 showed good sensitivity and specificity in the diagnosis of BBC when analyzed by the receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve. They were also prognostic regarding malignancy grade. Both biomarkers showed a positive correlation. Our results revealed that IHA is a reliable test in the diagnosis of bilharziasis associated with bladder cancer, and that Sha-miR-71a and MAPK-3 provide non-invasive specific biomarkers to diagnose BBC, as well as a potential role in testing bilharzial patients for risk to develop cancer.