The Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai has been awarded nearly $1.7 million in grant funding from the U.S. Department of Defense to study how bladder cancer affects certain types of while blood cells called “natural killer” cells or NK cells, which control and limit tumor growth. As part of the program, a clinical and research team with expertise in bladder cancer and immunotherapy will also design interventions to reverse NK cell dysfunction. 

A Killer

Bladder cancer is the fourth most common cancer among veterans, reports the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Smoking and exposure to industrial chemicals are the leading causes. Each year, 56,000 men and 18,000 women get bladder cancer reports the CDC; 12,000 men will die as well as 5,000 women this year alone.

Research Thus Far

Researchers at The Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai reveal that studies thus far reveal that cancer cells somehow interfere with the ability of NK cells to contain bladder tumor growth. The team in New York City seeks to better understand how bladder cancer tumors might impede or prevent NK cells from functioning.

Other Risk Factors

The study investigators will also delve deeply into the risk factors associated with bladder cancer for men and women in serving the armed forces. For example, researchers from the National Academy of Medicine identified a possible link between bladder cancer and Agent Orange, the herbicide chemical weaponized by the U.S. military during the Vietnam War. Such a link would place veterans who served during the Vietnam conflict at a higher risk than other groups.

Center of Excellence

Mount Sinai is also launching a new Center of Excellence for Bladder Cancer to further deepen its commitment to quality care for bladder cancer patients. With a focus on bringing multi-disciplinary, cutting-edge, and highly personalized care to patients with all forms of bladder cancer. The Center will bring world-class physicians to provide exceptional patient care that draws from their experience, innovation, clinical trials, research, and education.

Lead Research/Investigator

Nina Bhardwaj, MD, PhD, Professor of Medicine (hematology and Medical Oncology) and Director of Immunotherapy at the Tisch Cancer Institute at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

John Sfakianos, MD Assistant Professor of Urology and Urologic Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Call to Action: Does you or a loved one have a bladder cancer diagnosis and live in the New York City area? The Mount Sinai research would be beneficial to monitor. TrialSite Network can also make introductions to the clinical investigators.

Source: News-Medical.Net

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