Patients with stage IV bladder cancer often have few treatment options and face low survival rates, but some much-needed hope may soon be on the way, thanks to a new discovery by University of Florida researchers.
Once bladder cancer metastasizes at this most advanced stage, it becomes one of the leading causes of genitourinary cancer-related mortality, with the average life expectancy being less than two years. UF Health aims to produce a new therapy to improve survival of these patients.
The therapy being developed by Sergei Kusmartsev, PhD, and his lab targets a change noted with the tumor microenvironment. His lab has discovered increased activity of the enzyme Hyal2 and developed an antibody against this enzyme.
“The new treatment would combine this antibody with a very potent form of chemotherapy,” said Paul Crispen, MD, an associate professor in the UF Department of Urology. “This antibody drug conjugate could potentially deliver the chemotherapy selectively to areas of cancer to increase efficacy and limit toxicity.”