A study looking at risk factors for bladder cancer coming back (Bladder Cancer Prognosis Programme, BCPP)

Cancer type:

Bladder cancer
Transitional cell cancer





This study was looking to see if there are lifestyle factors that affect the diagnosis of bladder cancer and whether or not it comes back after treatment. The study is supported by Cancer Research UK.

Anything that increases your chance of developing cancer is called a risk factor. Different cancers have different risk factors. For example, we know from research that smoking can increase the risk of bladder cancer. But we don’t know why bladder cancer comes back in some people and not others.

In this study, the research team asked people about all sorts of aspects of their life to try and find some factors that increase or decrease the risk of bladder cancer coming back after treatment. They hope that in the future the information will help them decide who needs regular tests after treatment and who doesn’t.

Summary of results

The researchers found that people who smoked were diagnosed with bladder cancer on average 4 years younger than those who had never smoked. In this study, the smokers also had larger tumours. And their tumours were of a higher grade, which means they could be more likely to spread.

The study recruited 1,168 people who had been diagnosed with bladder cancer at a number of hospitals in the West Midlands.

The people taking part gave samples of tissue removed when they had surgery. They were also asked questions about

  • Their diet
  • Whether they smoke or not (or had smoked in the past)
  • The amount they drink
  • Their work and home environment
  • Their medical history
  • Their family history
  • Any medication they take (such as painkillers)

The research team then gathered information about their diagnosis and treatment from their medical notes.

There are several parts to the study looking to see if different lifestyle factors affect bladder cancer diagnosis and whether or not it comes back after treatment.

The study team had information about smoking from 1,067 of the people who took part. This showed that smoking can affect the age bladder cancer is diagnosed, the size of the tumour and how likely it is to spread. But we need more research to look at the links between smoking and the outlook (prognosis) for people diagnosed with bladder cancer.

These are only early results from this study. In the future, the researchers will make more results available showing what else they find about the other lifestyle factors and if they affect whether bladder cancer comes back after treatment.

We have based this summary on information from the team who ran the trial. The information they sent us has been reviewed by independent specialists (peer reviewed Open a glossary item) and published in a medical journal. The figures we quote above were provided by the trial team. We have not analysed the data ourselves.

Recruitment start:

Recruitment end:

How to join a clinical trial

Please note: In order to join a trial you will need to discuss it with your doctor, unless otherwise specified.

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Chief Investigator

Mr R T Bryan

Supported by

Birmingham and the Black Country Comprehensive Local Research Network
Cancer Research UK
National Institute for Health Research Cancer Research Network (NCRN)
School of Cancer Sciences (University of Birmingham)

Other information

This is Cancer Research UK trial number CRUK/05/28.

Questions about cancer? Contact our information nurses

Freephone 0808 800 4040

Last review date

CRUK internal database number:

Oracle 785

Please note - unless we state otherwise in the summary, you need to talk to your doctor about joining a trial.

Cara took part in a clinical trial

A picture of Cara

"I am glad that taking part in a trial might help others on their own cancer journey.”

Last reviewed:

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