Bladder cancer will be the focus of a new £750,000 investment by Yorkshire Cancer Research, announced to mark Bladder Cancer Awareness Month in July.
Led by researchers at the University of Sheffield, the charity will carry out both a major survey of all patients diagnosed with bladder cancer in Yorkshire – estimated to be more than 5,000 people – and a clinical trial to discover the best way to treat aggressive bladder cancer that has been found at an early stage.
The survey will be focused on discovering what matters most to patients, identifying gaps in care and establishing methods to improve their quality of life. This will be the first survey of its kind to target bladder cancer patients. The results, known as ‘patient reported outcomes’, could help patients choose their most suitable treatment option, guide future care by identifying the likely outcomes of specific treatments, and improve services by recognising good practice and areas where improvement is needed.
The clinical trial will compare two different kinds of treatments for aggressive, but not yet invasive bladder cancer. Patients with this cancer are usually treated by either immediate bladder removal, called a cystectomy, or a bladder-preserving therapy.
Bladder-preserving therapy is the standard approach and involves a three-year treatment plan, but only a third of patients complete the three-year course due to side effects and a quarter go on to need a cystectomy anyway, with worse outcomes.
The issue has been raised by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) as one of the top five bladder cancer research priorities, and the project will provide the information needed to run a larger, national trial.
Bladder cancer is particularly common in places like Doncaster, Rotherham and Barnsley, where incidence and mortality rates are higher than the national average. In 2014, the county had the lowest survival rate nationally, and there are also huge variations in outcomes across healthcare providers in Yorkshire.
Professor James Catto, Professor of Urology at the University of Sheffield, said: “Bladder cancer is a huge problem in Yorkshire. This funding will allow us to carry out two vital studies that will help us ensure patients have the very best possible experience after they are diagnosed, and ultimately help more people survive the disease.”
Notes to Editors – Yorkshire Cancer Research
- Harrogate-based Yorkshire Cancer Research is the UK’s largest regional medical research charity (registered charity no. 516898)
- During 2015 we will mark our 90th anniversary with a renewed commitment to reducing the devastating impact of cancer on the lives of people living in Yorkshire.
- Our mission is to work in partnership, fund research and support initiatives that will help people in Yorkshire avoid, survive and cope with cancer.
- Current statistics show that 527 people are diagnosed with cancer in Yorkshire every week. Incidence and mortality rates are higher than the England average due to social deprivation, post-industrialisation and lifestyle choices but also availability of healthcare services and difficulties accessing early diagnostics, clinical trials and the latest treatments.
- We aim to:
- Be the leading authority on cancer in Yorkshire, understanding the problems and priorities in the region and sharing knowledge with partners.
- Raise awareness of cancer and how to prevent it by working in local communities, schools and colleges, sports clubs and with other health-related organisations.
- Promote screening programmes and fund research that can improve the diagnosis of cancer so we can detect and treat it at the earliest opportunity.
- Invest in innovative research projects at every stage of a cancer patient’s journey.
- Campaign for fair and equal access to the very best healthcare services and a greater share of the money spent nationally on research.
- For further information, please visit www.yorkshirecancerresearch.org.uk or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
- Nikki Brady, Senior PR Officer – Yorkshire Cancer Research
- Tel: 01423 877 228
- Last updated: 27/07/2015
- View more in: News