Beating Bladder Cancer

Wednesday, November 20, 2013 - 8:23am
Executive Director, Center for Personalized Medicine

Because 1 in 26 men will develop bladder cancer at some point in their lifetime, Roswell Park’s Center for Personalized Medicine is dedicated to finding a cure. Every day, more than 30 scientists focus on new research therapies and innovative treatments to attack the fourth most common cancer among men.

There are two main forms of bladder cancer:

  • Transitional cell carcinoma (also called urothelial carcinoma) is the most common type of bladder cancer in the U.S. and accounts for about 95 percent of cases. This is a low-grade cancer that’s typically not life-threatening, but is often difficult to manage and lasts for a long period of time.
  • Squamous cell carcinoma accounts for about 5 percent of bladder cancers and is a very aggressive, high-grade malignancy. The vast majority of the patients we see at Roswell Park are treated for this type. However, this particular prognosis makes up a small portion of those nationally diagnosed with bladder cancer.

We are devoted to adapting a new model of treating and understanding bladder cancer. We are working in partnership with Western New York Urology to collect blood samples from multiple patients, at the time of cystoscopy, or through more direct means, such as removing and studying a portion of a patient’s tumor. Over the next few years, we intend to compile a database founded on multiple, multi-tiered biopsy results.

While this research is preliminary, our objective is to diversify our treatment options for those diagnosed with bladder cancer. Because the disease is so common and so varied, our staff at the Center for Personalized Medicine will study these unique samples to customize a treatment plan based on a patient's specific needs.