Bladder Cancer – A Cinderella Cancer: Advances and Remaining Research Questions
Bladder cancer is the 4th most common male cancer and 9th most common female malignancy. Despite its high incidence and prevalence, clinical outcomes have been static over the past 25 years. In 2010, bladder cancer care ranked 9th as the most expensive cancer in the USA with cumulative costs of 4 billion US dollars or 3.2% of all cancer-related care. A potential and significant contributing factor for the relative lack of improvement in the static mortality rate of BC is the small investment in bladder cancer. In the UK, prostate cancer research is supported with over £26,458,355 in funding and £561 are spent per new patient. However, research spent on bladder cancer was only £3,886,966 with £382 spent per new patient. A similar funding discrepancy is seen in the USA. In addition to the lack of research funding, bladder cancer has the highest lifetime treatment costs per patient of all cancers. This historical lack of funding means there are now so many important unanswered research questions, making prioritization very challenging.
This article collection aims to report on (but is not limited to) the latest molecular and clinical epidemiological studies with a specific focus on the following research areas with the ultimate aim of improving outcomes:
- Optimization of diagnostic pathways
- Elimination of uncertainty during surveillance following radical therapy
Studies focused on the above themes could aim to answer questions such as the below:
- Could molecular/genomic profiling of bladder cancer help select and stratify patients for treatments?
- Which prognostic biomarkers are useful in patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive and muscle-invasive bladder cancer to select effective radical treatment?
- Can new urinary and/or serum-based biomarkers improve the diagnosis of bladder cancer? Or the detection of metastatic disease or recurrence?
- What is the optimal strategy of surveillance for patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive and muscle-invasive bladder cancer?
- Will the emerging role of multi-parametric MRI in the local staging of bladder cancer aid pathway re-design in initial diagnosis and staging of bladder cancer?
Original research and reviews focused on molecular or clinical epidemiology of bladder cancer (any subtype) in the context of diagnostics, personalized treatment or surveillance are welcome.john
European Journal of Clinical Oncology
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