MCM protein biomarkers
have been the subject of
cancer research,
since they were first
demonstrated at Cambridge
University over 20 years ago

1 - 4

The science of MCM5 based cancer detection

  • Cells containing MCM proteins are found in body fluids when a cancer is present because the cells are shed by tumours in contact with that body fluid.
  • MCM positive cells are not usually present in body fluids in the absence of cancer or epithelial damage

MCM Proteins are excellent cancer biomarkers because:

  • They are robustly expressed in dividing cells and those preparing to divide
  • MCM proteins are not expressed in fully differentiated cells
  • When a mass of replicating cells, such as a bladder tumour, is present MCM positive cells are shed into the body fluids
  • MCM positive cells are not usually present in body fluids in the absence of cancer or epithelial damage

Where the MCM protein is found it is a signpost for the most likely form of cancer. MCM in the…

  • Urine is indicative of bladder cancer
  • Semen could be indicative of prostate cancer

Arquer Diagnostics have used this theory to develop widely applicable, cost effective tests for cancer

  • The MCM technology is applicable to a number of cancer types and there is a well-defined requirement for cancer screening tests for which the MCM technology could offer a clinically relevant test.


Learn about ADXBLADDER clinicians Learn about ADXBLADDER patients


  1. Stoeber K, Halsall I, Freeman A, Swinn R, Doble A, Morris L, Coleman N, Bullock N, Laskey RA, Hales CN, Williams GH. Immunoassay for urothelial cancers that detects DNA replication protein Mcm5 in urine. Lancet. 1999 Oct 30;354(9189):1524-5. PubMed PMID: 10551502.
  2. Freeman A, Morris LS, Mills AD, Stoeber K, Laskey RA, Williams GH, Coleman N. Minichromosome maintenance proteins as biological markers of dysplasia and malignancy. Clin Cancer Res. 1999 Aug;5(8):2121-32. PubMed PMID: 10473096.
  3. Ohtani K, Iwanaga R, Nakamura M, Ikeda M, Yabuta N, Tsuruga H, Nojima H. Cell growth-regulated expression of mammalian MCM5 and MCM6 genes mediated by the transcription factor E2F. Oncogene. 1999 Apr 8;18(14):2299-309. PubMed PMID: 10327050.
  4. Williams GH, Romanowski P, Morris L, Madine M, Mills AD, Stoeber K, Marr J, Laskey RA, Coleman N. Improved cervical smear assessment using antibodies against proteins that regulate DNA replication. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1998 Dec 8;95(25):14932-7. PubMed PMID: 9843993; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC24553 – for more information check out this Cambridge University Link