Current research into bladder cancer
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Saving lives through our research
From using vaccines as therapy to making radiotherapy more precisely targeted to tumours, our researchers are working hard to make treatments more effective and kinder for people with bladder cancer. Below are some examples of what our researchers are doing right now.
Our current researchers
Making treatments kinder
Professor Anne Kiltie and her team at the University of Oxford are developing a kinder way to treat people over 75 who are diagnosed with bladder cancer. The innovative technology uses ultrasound to direct drug-containing microbubbles to the tumour. They hope this will reduce the side effects of chemoradiotherapy treatments.
Digging deeper into biology
Professor Matilda Katan at University College London is carrying out research into the underlying biology of bladder cancer. Her lab focuses on a group of molecules called ‘fibroblast growth factor receptors’, which are often faulty in the disease. Her work will provide new information that could help scientists design new treatments for bladder cancer.
Developing new treatments
Based in London, Professor Tom Powles is pioneering new, tailor-made treatments for bladder cancer. Professor Powles is running large clinical trials looking at immunotherapy, alone or with other treatments, to see if they work better than other established treatments such as chemotherapy. He is also working on identifying which treatments will work best for individual patients by measuring proteins in the tumours.
Improving radiotherapy treatment
Radiotherapy can be very good at treating bladder cancer. But Professor Robert Huddart from the Royal Marsden Hospital, London, wants to make it even better. He’s testing whether scanning the bladder before treatment can help adapt it to changes in bladder size and shape. He hopes this will improve treatment and reduce damage to surrounding healthy tissue.
Harnessing the power of vaccines
Some people with bladder cancer are given the BCG vaccine into the bladder to help prevent their cancer coming back. Professor Vincenzo Cerundolo in Oxford is studying exactly how the vaccine acts. He hopes to figure out which parts of our immune system the vaccine activates to fight the cancer. This could help explain why some people’s tumours respond to the vaccine, while others don’t.