Consequently, we are passionate about the development of vital research that is needed to increase our knowledge base, to help with prevention and to develop new and better forms of diagnosis, treatment and aftercare.
A clinical trial is something that can be offered at any part in the bladder cancer journey, from initial suspected diagnosis, through investigations and different treatment, and in later follow up, or at end of life.
A clinical trial is not something to “look at when all else fails”. Many treatments we use today were developed as part of a clinical trial. For example, the use of chemotherapy at the same time as radiotherapy treatment was developed in the UK as part of a large study (called BC2001) and has changed practice around the world.
There are a number of clinical trials in bladder cancer. These usually compare a new treatment which has the potential of working better or with less side effects, with what is used as the “gold-standard”.
Different trials are available in different hospitals. This is because of either the complexity of the trial or because of the type of treatment or test involved. For example, studies of surgery (cystectomy) or radiotherapy may only be open at the particular hospital or cancer centres where the operation or the radiotherapy takes place. All studies have particular tick boxes to confirm whether this study is the correct one for you and your cancer. It may be that you and your type of bladder cancer do not match what we call the eligibility criteria (or check list) for the study.
Knowing about what is on offer is very useful and you can find out information in the UK by going onto the website for the National Cancer Research Network and clicking on the portfolio map for bladder cancer. This looks very complicated but it does give an up to date over view of studies – some are open and recruiting patients across the UK but some are only open in one hospital.
Remember that you should ask your doctor if you are suitable for a clinical trial, and it is always helpful to take information with you for any trials that your doctor may not be familiar with. If the study is open elsewhere in the UK and it looks as though you may be eligible for this (and are prepared to travel), you could ask your doctor to refer you.
We campaign for a number of areas of research that, from a patient perspective, are essential and long overdue, to allow for patients to be better informed when they have to make choices about treatments.
Current UK trials for bladder cancer are outlined here. For more details or eligibility criteria, please contact the appropriate trials team.
For more information about all current bladder cancer trials head to Cancer Research UK’s dedicated portal. There you will find further information about the studies and which hospitals which are taking part.
The CALIBER study is for people with low risk non-invasive bladder cancer which has returned after initial treatment. People who take part will either have surgery or a course of mitomycin C. Mitomycin C is a chemotherapy drug, has been used in bladder cancer treatment for many years and is normally put into the bladder following surgery for bladder tumours. CALIBER aims to find out whether a course of mitomycin C treatment might be an alternative to surgery for people whose low risk bladder cancer has returned.
HIVEC II is a study in non muscle invasive bladder cancer looking at hyperthermia treatment.It is looking at comparing mitomycin with the new treatment.
The PHOTO study is for people with a new diagnosis of non-invasive bladder cancer which has a medium or high risk of returning following treatment. Everyone taking part will have surgery to remove their tumours. The surgery will be done either using a white light to see inside the bladder, or a blue light. PHOTO aims to find out whether using blue light at surgery reduces the likelihood of the cancer returning.
The HYBRID study is for people who have invasive bladder cancer who are not able to have a cystectomy or to attend a hospital daily for radiotherapy. Everyone taking part will visit the hospital once a week for 6 weeks for radiotherapy. HYBRID aims to find out if using recent advances in radiotherapy delivery techniques can help reduce side effects of this treatment.
Neoblade is a study of neoadjuvant chemotherapy for patients with bladder cancer which has grown into the muscle but not to elsewhere in the body. The usual treatment is to start with two drugs as upfront chemotherapy and NEOBLADE is looking at adding in another drug called nintedanib.
The RAIDER study is for people with invasive bladder cancer who choose to have daily radiotherapy as treatment. Everyone taking part will have daily radiotherapy. People who take part will be in one of three treatment groups: standard radiotherapy, radiotherapy with the highest radiation dose focused on the tumour, or radiotherapy with a higher dose than normal focused on the tumour. RAIDER aims to confirm that this higher dose radiotherapy is safe and can be delivered at multiple hospitals within the NHS.
TUXEDO is a trial in patients who are advised to have chemoradiation for muscle invasive bladder cancer. This study is in an early stage and is looking at adding another drug to the standard radiotherapy and chemotherapy given at the same time as radiotherapy.
IMvigor 211 is a new study which will open later this year in the UK. This is a study for patient who have undergone a radical cystectomy for muscle invasive bladder cancer and who have what are called “high risk” features on their surgical specimen ( ie the bladder after removal shows that the cancer was very advanced or looked aggressive down the microscope). This study looks at giving “adjuvant” treatment, ie to start within 2-3 months of the operation . There is no standard treatment and this study is looking at whether giving a new drug called ATEZOLIZUMAB, an Anti-PDL-1 antibody reduces the chance of the cancer coming back.
This is a study in advanced/metastatic bladder cancer. Patients receive standard chemotherapy with gemcitabine and cisplatin and with the possible addition of a drug calledAZD4547. This is a very early study (Phase I) where the combination treatment is being evaluated for safety and side effects.
G029294 is a study in patients who have progressed on first or second line chemotherapy for advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. This study compares chemotherapy ( with either paclitaxel or vinflunine) with a drug called PDL3280A, an immunotherapy drug.
This is a study in advanced/metastatic bladder cancer. Patients receive standard chemotherapy with gemcitabine and cisplatin and with the possible addition of a drug called tensirolimus. This is a very early study looking at the safety of the drug and what is the ideal dose.
Invasive upper tract urothelial carcinoma
The POUT study is for people with invasive cancer of the upper urinary tract (ureter and kidney). Everyone taking part needs to have recently had surgery to remove their ureter and kidney. People who take part will either be given chemotherapy immediately or will be closely monitored and only given further treatment if their cancer comes back. POUT aims to find out if giving chemotherapy soon after surgery reduces the likelihood of the cancer returning.
To see what patients and carers believe are areas where research is vital please download our Trial Requirement List at the bottom of this section.
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