Ground Breaking Trial to Identify Best Way to Treat Aggressive Bladder Cancer

2nd April 2015

Two pioneering trials conducted at the University of Sheffield to evaluate the best way to treat aggressive bladder cancer have been given a massive boost thanks to a multimillion pound funding investment from Yorkshire Cancer Research (YCR).

The innovative research, led by Professor James Catto from the Department of Oncology, is among nine projects aimed at improving the diagnosis, treatment and care of cancer patients which will benefit from the £5 million YCR grant which was announced today, Tuesday 31 March 2015. Professor Catto and his team are leading the clinical trials involving patients at the University of Sheffield to evaluate the best way to treat aggressive bladder cancer when found at an early stage. Another project in the city will investigate whether a tool can be developed to measure the experience of patients following a cancer diagnosis. The study will record the experience of all new bladder cancer patients in Yorkshire for one year. A total of 3,000 patients will be involved in the project, which aims to improve the care patients receive. Researchers at the University of Sheffield will also develop new tools to help female cancer patients make decisions about preserving their fertility. Professor James Catto, said: -We aim to learn what matters most to patients, how we can improve patient care and to learn from areas of good practice. -The second randomised trial will compare radical surgery (cystectomy) with medical therapy (intravesical injections of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin) in patients with aggressive, localised bladder cancer. -This has not been done before and if successful should lead to a national study. The funding is extremely important for our department, for our patients, the university and Yorkshire. It should put bladder cancer on the map. Bladder cancer, which is caused primarily by smoking or exposure to workplace chemicals, is particularly common in places like Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley, where incidence and mortality rates are higher than the national average. Charles Rowett, Chief Executive Officer at Yorkshire Cancer Research, said: -We're extremely proud to be funding such vital research in Yorkshire thanks to the generosity of our supporters. This is a very substantial investment in projects with a huge regional significance which will take us one step closer to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on people who live in Yorkshire. -Our £5m investment has proven without a doubt that there is a huge need for more research to address cancer inequalities in our region, especially as national charities and the government continue to reduce their research expenditure in the north of England. He added: -We were overwhelmed by the number and quality of the applications received and it is clear that more needs to be done to ensure that everyone in Yorkshire has fair access to the same quality of diagnosis, treatment and care as they would elsewhere in the county. -We are looking forward to continuing to work in partnership with universities and teaching hospitals, as well as other charities and organisations, to ensure that cancer outcomes in Yorkshire are dealt with as a matter of the highest priority.

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