Simple test could identify bladder cancer patients who won't respond to immunotherapy

IMAGE: This is professor Florian Kern, Chair of Immunology at BSMS. view more 

Credit: Pic courtesy of Brighton and Sussex Medical School.

Patients who are unlikely to benefit from a commonly used immunotherapy for bladder cancer could be identified by a simple blood test, according to researchers at Brighton and Sussex Medical School (BSMS).

This could potentially save months of unnecessary and ineffective treatment.

Currently, 30-40% of individuals have no benefit from the standard immunotherapy treatment, and they are only identified once therapy has failed, which often takes six months or longer to find out.

The pilot study, conducted under the supervision of Professor Florian Kern, Chair of Immunology at BSMS, shows that a test measuring the release of the pro-inflammatory molecule, Interleukin-2, from immune cells performed before therapy appears to immediately identify about 50% of the patients who will not benefit from the treatment.

Overall, the test correctly predicted therapy outcome in almost 80% of cases.

Bladder cancer is among the top most common cancers worldwide and predominantly affects older men, with hundreds of thousands of cases every year.

The majority present with early bladder cancer that has not yet infiltrated the muscular layer of the bladder, and


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