Further to my recent blog on Understanding Immunotherapy and the therapeutic use of oncolytic viruses as a immunotherapeutic treatment, the possibility of the use of the common cold virus, (Coxsackievirus A21), as a novel treatment agent in bladder cancer has hit the news.
The results of a small study by University of Surrey researchers were published in the US journal Clinical Cancer. The study suggests that a strain of the virus could infect and kill bladder cancer cells.
Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, (NMIBC), is the ninth most common malignancy worldwide, with nearly 500,000 diagnosed cases annually. Of these some 10,000 are in the UK. The average age at the time of diagnosis is 73. Yet the disease often has a lower profile compared to other types of cancer such as breast, lung and prostate. Because elderly patients have a higher proportion of more aggressive tumours and are less likely to receive radical treatments such as radiotherapy or invasive surgery, they are more likely to die of the disease than younger patients.
If future clinical trials of this virus combined with a targeted immunotherapy checkpoint inhibitor drug are successful it could revolutionise treatment for this disease, increasing the chance of survival for older patients and saving them from the toxic effects of current chemotherapy treatments and high mortality rates
Allen Knight, chairman of Action Bladder Cancer UK, called the study findings “very exciting”. He noted that bladder cancer cost the NHS more per patient than nearly every other cancer, because of the high recurrence rate. He continued,
“If the safety, tolerability, and efficacy data can be confirmed in larger clinical studies and trials, then it could herald a new era in the treatment for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients, like me, who often feel that innovations in cancer therapies pass us by.”
While age, race, gender and lifestyle, (such as smoking), play an important role in the incidence of Bladder Cancer, there are a number of environmental risk factors such as water pollution that can cause the disease. I have listed useful Bladder Cancer Advocacy organisations and signs, symptoms and risk factors below.
invasive bladder cancer and priming of anti-tumour immunity.
Reprogrammed viruses as cancer therapeutics
Treatment of Bladder Cancer in the Elderly
About Bladder Cancer
Signs, symptoms and risk factors.
Bladder Cancer Support Group, Canada
Bladder Cancer Support Group, Australia
Bladder Cancer Statistics
Australia’s high rates of bladder cancer deaths show why blood in urine should always be investigated