Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Precision medicine for bladder cancer

Bladder cancer is a prevalent malignancy with millions of sufferers worldwide. The high recurrence rate following treatment requires an active surveillance regime for people with a history of bladder cancer.
Precision medicine for bladder cancer
Clinical management and monitoring of bladder cancer after surgery is traditionally performed by urine analysis, cytology and cystoscopy. However, cystoscopy is an invasive and unpleasant procedure, and new tumours may not necessarily occur at the same location. As a result, new non-invasive but highly sensitive tests are required.

The advent of omics technologies has revolutionised the way we understand disease pathophysiology with the ability to profile substantial fractions of molecular entities from the genome down to the metabolome level. This can help identify disease biomarkers for personalised diagnostics and therapy.

The EU-funded DIPROMON (Multimodular biomarker analysis workflow for diagnosis, prognosis and monitoring of drug treatment response in bladder cancer) project worked to identify a molecular profile that could predict the probability of recurrence and invasiveness of bladder cancer as well as provide a prognostic indicator for the effectiveness of therapy.

To achieve this, project partners performed meta-analysis of data from various transcriptome, proteome and metabolome studies as well as literature mining of individual molecular features of bladder cancer. Collectively, their efforts concluded to a set of 1 300 molecules linked with bladder cancer. These were subsequently mapped on a protein interaction network, and associated with specific molecular pathways.

Next, researchers selected representative biomarker candidates for each molecular process that was involved in progressive disease and used this panel to develop assays and cell-based analytics. Coupled with specialised software, this framework was employed to estimate the risk for recurrence and disease progression.

Researchers validated this biomarker-based disease classification and patient stratification in an independent study and demonstrated its suitability for capturing bladder cancer recurrence events. Furthermore, the approach enabled scientists to analyse the efficacy of specific drugs.

Overall, the DIPROMON diagnostic procedures enhance the diagnostic accuracy of bladder cancer and provide solid support for clinical decision making. Importantly, the non-invasive nature of the tests will reinforce compliance and enable implementation for monitoring response to therapy.

Related information


Bladder cancer, omics, biomarker, DIPROMON, patient stratification
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