Bladder Cancer


Inspired by the bravery of our patients, we are committed to pursuing even outrageous possibilities. Our process is unparalledled – we draw from Duke’s entire pool of world-class talent and resources to foster collaborative exchanges of knowledge and promote innovation.

Our utilizing this multi-disciplinary approach, we lead the field in breakthrough research that transforms how we prevent, diagnose and treat bladder cancer.

Together, we are moving further, faster and with greater purpose.

Clinical Research

Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center is spearheading clinical trials which are leading to improvements in the treatment of bladder cancer. Bladder cancer clinical research at Duke also includes a number of investigator-initiated trials, with a focus on locally advanced and metastatic kidney cancer in the below focus areas:

  • Novel immunotherapies
    • Our immune systems can recognize and fight cancer, but sometimes the cancer develops ways to trick our immune systems. Immunotherapies target our immune system to help fight the cancer. We are committed to developing, identifying and testing new immunotherapies to improve how we treat bladder cancer.  
  • Precision/predictive medicine and biomarkers of aggressive disease
    • Our genes, lifestyles and environment can affect the way kidney cancer develops and responds to certain treatments. We study DNA and other molecules in cancer cells to tailor kidney cancer treatments to the patient being treated. We work to identify biomarkers or biological differences between more or less aggressive bladder cancers, and question whether this information will be useful in making decisions about treatment for patients.  
  • Multi-disciplinary trials
    • At our center, specialists from medical, surgical and radiation oncology work together to transform bladder cancer care. 
  • Survivorship studies
    • We lead in studies that help patients and their families recover from the stress and long-term effects of kidney cancer diagnosis and treatment. Through these, we are ensuring that bladder cancer survivors are receiving the follow-up care they need.  

Pre-Clinical and Translational Research

The Duke Prostate & Urologic Cancer Center seeks to translate cutting-edge basic science research into improvements in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of bladder cancer. This approach is called translational research. Our Bladder Cancer Translational Research program studies:  

  • Tumor immunology and immunotherapy
  • Hyperthermia and heat-targeted therapy
  • Diagnostic test development
  • Drug development and clinical trials
  • Bladder cancer genetics