(WEILL CORNELL MEDICINE) According to a recent press release, new research by Weill Cornell Medicine and University of Trento scientists shows that while chemotherapy kills the most common type of bladder cancer, urothelial cancer, chemotherapy also shapes the genetic evolution of remaining urothelial cancer cell clones to become drug-resistant.
Treatments for urothelial cancer are limited. Within months of the initial treatment, usually with platinum-containing chemotherapy, most patients will become resistant to treatment. Although immunotherapy has shown recent promise, there is no consistent cure for this chemotherapy-resistant state of the disease.
In their study, published today in Nature Genetics, investigators from Weill Cornell Medicine and the University of Trento discovered that urothelial cancer cells mutate following treatment with chemotherapy, and that these mutations provide these tumor cells with an evolutionary advantage to survive chemotherapy. The findings lay the foundation for building a framework to understand the biological basis for chemotherapy-resistance in bladder cancer, which may lead to improved diagnostics and treatments for this lethal disease.