Request an Appointment:
Online or Call 1-888-824-0200

Bladder Cancer Research and Clinical Trials

The physicians and scientists at the University of Chicago Medicine continue to perform groundbreaking research on bladder cancer to improve treatments, survival rates and quality of life. Our physicians partner with basic science researchers across the institution to better understand the molecular, genetic and biochemical make up of bladder cancer in order to discover new therapies that allow us to deliver personalize medicine to each individual patient.

Continued Innovations in Bladder Cancer Research

Immunotherapy

As immunotherapy continues to show promise in cancer treatment, our team is among the leaders in investigating the use of patients' immune systems to shrink tumors and prolong survival for all stages of bladder cancer. We are assessing the use of novel immune checkpoint molecules to identify and attack cancer cells in the body. For example, in a recent study, our experts discovered that anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy atezolizumab was effective for patients with advanced and metastatic bladder cancer. Immunotherapy research is allowing us to create a new treatment paradigm for bladder cancer at the University of Chicago Medicine.

Cancer Genomics and Precision Medicine

By studying the biology of patients' tumors as well as our patients' genomic information, specifically their genetic abnormalities, our physician-scientists can develop more targeted treatment plans for each patient by selecting drugs that will complement their individual genome. Through our research, we are seeing how certain genetic mutations can impact a patient's response to certain drugs, enabling novel treatments options for patients with metastatic bladder that developed resistance to the other first-line treatment.

Personalized Treatment Planning

Our physicians continue to make advancements in personalized cancer therapy. Through the University of Chicago's Center for Personalized Therapeutics, we are studying pharmacogenomics information to better understand how a patient's genetic variations correlate with how his/her body will respond to a certain medication.

Through projects like the 1200 Patients Project, we are using this genetic information identify the best medication for each patient to maximize effectiveness while reducing unwanted negative side effects. Advancements using a person's unique genetic makeup to deliver individualized drug therapy not only improve a patient's response to the medication, thereby improving their health, but can also prevent potentially fatal drug toxicities.

Leading-Edge Clinical Trials

As members of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC), an NCI-designated cancer research center, our clinicians and researchers are pioneering new treatments for bladder cancer. By offering more clinical trails than any other institution in the Chicago area, we provide our patients with access to the most advanced therapies available.

As members of the University of Chicago Comprehensive Cancer Center (UCCCC), an NCI-designated cancer research center, our clinicians and researchers are pioneering new treatments for bladder cancer. By offering more clinical trails than any other institution in the Chicago area, we provide our patients with access to the most advanced therapies available.

Our physicians and researchers are working closely together to transform basic research into bedside care for our patients through clinical trials. Currently, the multidisciplinary bladder cancer team has numerous clinical trials in progress focused on:

  • Implementing immunotherapy in patients with advanced malignancies
  • Identifying new anti-cancer therapies
  • Examining tumor biomarkers to predict patient response to drug therapy
  • Testing how to incorporate radiation and drug therapy in the most effective manner
  • Analyzing a patient's DNA to personalize treatment decisions


These clinical trials allow patients to benefit from novel therapies before they are widely available, putting them at the forefront of cancer care. »Learn about current bladder cancer clinical trials at the University of Chicago Medicine.