GUSTO: First-of-its-kind trial hopes to improve survival rates for advanced bladder cancer by matching treatments to known genetic risk markers


A major new trial aiming to transform outcomes for patients with advanced bladder cancer by matching treatments to genetic information found within their individual cancer has been launched by Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Leeds Cancer Research UK Clinical Trials Unit at the University of Leeds.

The trial, known as GUSTO, will seek to establish if treatments for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, one of the most common and most expensive-to-treat cancers, can be tailored to different genetic sub-types known to cause the disease.

Current standard treatments for patients with the advanced cancer of the bladder wall involve chemotherapy before or after surgery to remove the bladder. This approach is then combined with other treatments such as radiotherapy.

Until now, it has not been possible to say how individuals will respond to this treatment. However, new research suggests that different genetic causes of bladder cancers may respond differently to different treatments - meaning some patients may respond best to chemotherapy while others do not respond as well to this treatment. Other sub-types of the cancer may respond better to immunotherapy and so need this treatment alone or as a boost to chemotherapy. Finally, some cancers do not respond to either chemotherapy or immunotherapy and so need immediate surgery.

The trial, which is jointly funded by a Medical Research Council (MRC) and National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) partnership, will be the first to test this in a clinical trial.

Researchers hope the study will improve survival rates, and boost quality of life for patients following surgery.   Action Bladder Cancer UK are proud to have provided patient input for the development of this trial.   Link to full news item here: News ( 

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