Muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a difficult cancer to treat with a high mortality rate. A recent study published in the British Journal of Cancer indicates an option that may help doctors achieve better treatment with radiotherapy.
The study, which was funded by the Medical Research Council and performed by a team at the University of Manchester, found that certain bladder cancer patients were more likely to benefit from an additional treatment alongside radiotherapy. These patients had tumors with high levels of the HIF-1α protein, and they saw a greater benefit when carbogen, a carbon dioxide and oxygen mix, and nicotinamide were given in conjunction with radiotherapy. This treatment was called CON.
The study looked at the protein levels in 137 different patients, some of which had radiotherapy alone and some of which had radiotherapy with the additional CON treatment. The study found that the levels of the protein could predict which patients were going to benefit most from CON. Patients with high levels of the specific protein were able to better survive the disease after radiotherapy with CON. However, patients with low levels of the protein did not have a benefit with the addition of CON.
This is an important biomarker that doctors may be able to use to create the most effective treatment for patients diagnosed with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. For those with high levels of the HIF-1α protein, this information can lead to effective treatment and a lower risk of mortality. Further study is needed into treatments that will work for patients who are not in this group.
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