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Bladder cancer patients see improved outlook

Category: Cancer Detection and Tumor Markers

There are some forms of cancer that are more virulent than others, including variants that attack the bladder. The SEER Cancer Institute stated that about 75,000 people contractbladder cancer each year, and of those, about one-fifth will die before the year's end. Scientists are trying to find medicines that will better treat the pain and suffering associated with this illness, as well as seekbetter treatment methods to cure the disease. Carrying out blood testing to look for medication levels and certain genetic markers may make the process easier for patients.

The Colorado Cancer Center revealed recently that research regarding a specific blood protein, Secreted Protein Acidic and Rich in Cysteine (SPARC), was higher in bladder cancer patients whose bodies were fighting tumors more effectively. Blood testing showed that these proteins acted like anti-inflammatory drugs, reducing the swelling in tissues surrounding the growths and impeding the progress of bladder cancer. Those who were unable to create this protein or secreted less SPARC saw more rapid progression of the illness, indicating to researchers that providing patients with these kinds of proteins could help slow or halt tumors and stop them from metastasizing. There was also evidence that SPARC could stop tumors on the move from embedding in new organs, keeping the spread of the disease in check.

Looking for genetic connections
Researchers at Dartmouth College, in collaboration with the National Cancer Institute, previously conducted bladder cancer research regarding anti-inflammatory drugs to see their effect on overall cancer treatment. Combining NSAID pain relievers with radiotherapy, a common method of controlling the illness, resulted in slowed progression of symptoms and greater longevity in those affected.

Blood tests revealed that those who were able to take the pills for at least 10 years and hadn't already expressed the disease were more likely to see positive results from taking NSAIDs. What's more, these trials found a common genetic marker among those that fared best against bladder cancer, indicating a predisposition to express the illness. There was also a link between those who did well and a specific genetic marker they all shared, a sign to researchers that there could be more to treating bladder cancer than just radiation and medication treatments.

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