Key concerns about the current state of bladder cancer

A position paper from the Bladder Cancer Think Tank, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, and the Society of Urologic Oncology

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Abstract

Bladder cancer is the fifth most common cancer in the United States and, on a per capita basis, is the most expensive cancer from diagnosis to death. Unfortunately, National Cancer Institute funding for bladder cancer is quite low when compared with other common malignancies. Limited funding has stifled research opportunities for new and established investigators, ultimately encouraging them to redirect research efforts to other organ sites. Waning interest of scientists has further fueled the cycle of modest funding for bladder cancer. One important consequence of this has been a lack of scientific advancement in the field. Patient advocates have decidedly advanced research efforts in many cancer sites. Breast, prostate, pancreatic, and ovarian cancer advocates have organized highly successful campaigns to lobby the federal government and the medical community to devote increased attention and funding to understudied malignancies and to conduct relevant studies to better understand the therapy, diagnosis, and prevention of these diseases. Bladder cancer survivors have lacked a coordinated advocacy voice until recently. A concerted effort to align bladder cancer advocates, clinicians, and urologic organizations is essential to define the greatest needs in bladder cancer and to develop related solutions. This position paper represents a collaborative discussion to define the most concerning trends and greatest needs in the field of bladder cancer as outlined by the Bladder Cancer Think Tank, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, and the Society of Urologic Oncology. Cancer 2009. © 2009 American Cancer Society.

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