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White blood cells indicate the extent to which treatment is successful

Caption: Lymphocytes (seen as brown cells in the microscope image) fight a malignant bladder tumour (the blue-white cells at the right hand side of the picture). Image: Universitätsklinikum Erlangen/Markus Eckstein

FAU researchers are working on a test for an aggressive type of bladder tumour

How long can a patient with bladder cancer survive once it has spread to the muscles? Which treatment works best? In future, substantiated answers to these questions may be able to be given by a test for high or low levels of white blood cells in the tumour tissue. These are the results of research conducted by an interdisciplinary team of researchers at FAU and reported in the journal ‘Cancer Immunology research’.

Muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) accounts for approximately two thirds of invasive urothelial bladder cancer (UBC), and has a high rate of morbidity and mortality. Men are more than three times as likely to be affected by UBC as women.

FAU researchers have now discovered that the success of treatment and survival rates of patients can be predicted by determining white blood cells known as stromal tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (sTIL). These lymphocytes are used as simple morphological parameters and biomarkers. Their quantities and spatial distribution within the tumour immune microenvironment allow the stage of tumour inflammation and tumour subtypes to be predicted and help personalise the treatment offered to patients. In further studies they hope to check their results and further refine their methods.

For the study, an interdisciplinary team of researchers at the Institute of Pathology, FAU, led by Prof. Dr. Arndt Hartmann and Dr. Markus Eckstein worked together with Prof. Dr. Bernd Wullich from the Department of Urology and Paedriatic Urology and Prof. Dr. Reiner Strick from the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Universitätsklinikum Erlangen to analyse the data of 542 patients with the most aggressive type of malignant bladder tumour which invades the muscle layer.

Further information:

Dr. Markus Eckstein
Phone: +49 9131 85 22525
markus.eckstein@uk.erlangen.de

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