Radical cystectomy remains the standard of care for muscle-invasive bladder cancer. This surgery entails complete removal of the bladder and surrounding organs, leading to serious impact in quality of life of patients and associated with a 5-year overall survival of only 50%. Radiation therapy, which preserves the bladder, would be an appropriate treatment modality if we could improve efficacy, as lack of local control and significant toxicity remain problematic. Recently, promising results with immunotherapy in several cancers indicate its combination with RT could be an attractive strategy to overcome resistance and to improve therapeutic efficacy in MIBC. The novel approach of the proposal herein can bring transformative changes in developing novel strategies in bladder cancer (BC) therapy as it has the potential to transfer from the bench to the patient, and unquestionably, positive impact on survival and quality of life of MIBC patients.
Dr. Kassouf and his team are working to optimize radiation therapy, which once improved, would preserve the affected organs. Research on bladder cancer is underfunded and much work is needed to make major breakthroughs in its management.
The Cancer Research Society funds highly promising research projects undertaken by Canada’s best scientists. Following a rigorous peer review selection process, about 150 researchers are thus able to advance scientific knowledge to improve cancer prevention, detection and treatments, through various funding programs. These programs are based on scientific excellence, support to new generations of scientists, support to promising underfunded research avenues and partnerships with great impact potential. Since its inception, the Cancer Research Society has thus contributed to major advances in oncology, helping position Canada at the forefront of cancer research in the world.