Disease Focus of the Month – Bladder cancer

Bladder cancer: is the consequence of abnormal growth of cells in tissues of the bladder. Cancer starts in the cells in the inner lining layer of the bladder i.e. the urothelial cells, and grows into the bladder wall. This is by far the most common type of bladder cancer and within this group there are various subtypes of cancer.If the cancer grows deeper into the bladder wall and they tend to spread and invade other organs, it is considered an invasive cancer. Other types of bladder cancer – with less of 10% of total occurrences – are squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, sarcoma and small cell carcinoma. Diagnosis methods for bladder cancer comprise cystoscopies, biopsies, imaging tests and different lab tests such as urine cytology, urinalysis or urine tumor marker test including NMP22 assay (by Matritech), BTA stat test (by Bion Diagnostic Sciences, Inc.) and UBC antigen (by IDL Biotech).

Cause(s): Smoking is associated with over half of bladder cancer cases in men and one-third of cases among women. Besides smoking other risks factors have been associated to bladder cancer occurrence such as occupational exposure to aromatic amines such as benzidine and beta-naphtylamine that are carcinogenic agents, race and ethnicity – whites are about twice as likely to develop bladder cancer as Afro-americans, Hispanics or Asian –, age or gender. Chronic bladder irritations and infections are linked with bladder cancer, especially squamous cell carcinoma of the bladder. Long-term use of the chemotherapy drug cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan) can irritate the bladder and increase the risk of bladder cancer. Arsenic present in drinking water has also been associated with an increased risk of bladder cancer.

Treatments: The main treatments for bladder cancer are surgery, intravesical therapy, chemotherapy, and radiation therapy. These types of treatments can be administered alone or in combination with other types, depending on the stage of the cancer. Surgery alone or with other treatments, is used in nearly all cases.

Market size: The bladder cancer therapeutics key markets (the US, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Japan, Brazil, Russia, India and China) were collectively worth $610m in 2010. The global Bladder Cancer Therapeutics market is expected to reach $544.4 million by 2015 based on report by Global Industry Analysts Inc.