The 2021 Nordic Medac Grant has been awarded to Liina Salminen, MD, PhD. Department of Urology, Turku University Hospital and University of Turku, Finland to support conduction of the study with the following title:

Comprehensive analysis of the tumor ecosystem and adjacent normal tissue cancerization for predicting response to BCG immunotherapy in bladder cancer

Study summary:

Patients with high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer are treated with intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy adjuvant to transurethral resection. Prediction of response to BCG regarding prevention of recurrence and progression is of high clinical importance – but is currently impossible.

The main aim of this project is to perform a comprehensive molecular analysis of tumors, tumor ecosystems, adjacent normal tissue and liquid biopsies taken throughout the disease course. The adjacent normal appearing tissue, including adjacent transformed cells and carcinoma in situ, is the main target of BCG treatment, and has not been investigated in detail earlier. Using this approach, we expect that molecular tools and clinically applicable pipelines for predicting response to BCG treatment can be developed.