This year, Bladder Cancer Canada (BCC) is co-funding a $50,000 grant for bladder cancer research in partnership with the Canadian Urological Association Scholarship Foundation (CUASF). The CUASF is a scholarship fund that was set up by the Canadian Urological Association and its Members, and has a long and successful history.
Both recipients of this year’s grant are members of BCC’s Medical Research Board, Dr. Peter Black and Dr. Girish Kulkarni. Below are descriptions of their research:
Phenotypical analysis of the immune system in patients with MIBC
Peter Black, MD, FACS, FRCSC
The immune system has the potential to kill tumour cells, however most cancers, including bladder cancer, develop ways to evade the immune system. Although there have been recent successes with treatments aimed at activating anti-cancer immune responses, most patients do not respond to therapy, which highlights the need to better understand how tumours suppress anti-cancer immune responses. This proposal aims to characterize the state of the immune system in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, in order to better understand how bladder cancer suppresses the immune system, and to define new targets for therapies that could re-activate immune mediated killing of tumour cells.
A comparison of patient outcomes with a repeat resection versus no repeat resection in high-grade T1 bladder cancer
Girish Kulkarni, MD, PHD, FRCSC
The majority of bladder cancer is diagnosed when it is confined to the bladder and not invading the bladder wall. Certain types of bladder cancer (T1) have higher likelihood for potentially invading the bladder wall which necessitates removal of the bladder. These tumours are diagnosed by scraping the tumour off of the bladder wall. The purpose of this proposal is to assess whether a repeat scraping of the bladder wall improves cancer staging accuracy (ie. upstaging to muscle invasion or truly T1 disease, not invading the muscle) when patients are initial diagnosed with T1 bladder cancer.