NMP22 (Nuclear Matrix Protein 22 assay)

What is the NMP22 test?

It is a specific urine test for the early detection of bladder cancer. NMP22 is a protein which is highly elevated in cancerous cells. Following a specific test, the NMP22 protein can be detected in the urine of patients with bladder cancer.

When is the NMP22 test performed?

The NMP22 test is used:

  • to help evaluate patients with symptoms that might originate from bladder cancer.
  • to monitor patients already treated for bladder cancer, so as to detect early any potentially occuring relapse.

The test procedure is simple, non-invasive and in most cases can identify even small tumors.

What preparation is needed for the NMP22 test?

No special preparation is needed to obtain the urine sample. However, there are some conditions that might give false positive results; this means that the test may be found positive even though there is no bladder cancer. This may happen in cases of:

  • urinary tract infection. If so, UTI should be treated first and then the NMP22 test can be performed. 
  • intense physical exercise during the previous days.

permanent catheter use or troublesome bladder catheterization.

How is the NMP22 test performed?

A urine sample is collected in a sterile collecting container. Then some urine drops from the specimen are put into the special test holes. The test can be carried out by the patient himself/herself, as long as the instructions included in the test package by the manufacturing company are followed carefully. The test is read within the time indicated in the instructions.

How are NMP22 results interpreted?

The test should normally be negative. In the opposite case, the physician will recommend the diagnostic or therapeutic options that are appropriate for you.