Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Announces Groundbreaking Clinical Trial Research Award to Transform Bladder Cancer Care

Up to $3 million research award will help reduce the burden of bladder cancer for patients and families

(August 4, 2021: Bethesda, MD) Today, the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network, (BCAN), announced its first-ever Translational Clinical Trial Award (TCTA) to support patient-oriented research to transform bladder cancer care. The award will provide a maximum of $3 million in funding over 36 months bringing a renewed sense of urgency to help bladder cancer patients and families. It is designed to spark changes to the standard of care in bladder cancer, decrease overtreatment, and significantly impact patient outcomes.

This first-ever award is being funded through a generous grant from BCAN Board Member Duncan Alexander.  Mr. Alexander has been a leader in the business community and has a long history of giving back through his philanthropic activities.

“This award will propel new thinking and approaches to how bladder cancer is diagnosed and treated,” said Andrea Maddox-Smith, CEO of BCAN. “Duncan’s abundant generosity aims to ease the burden of thousands of the more than 712,000 people impacted by bladder cancer in the United States.”

The problem is dire:  each year, more than 81,000 people are diagnosed with bladder cancer and 17,000 do not survive the disease making it among the most commonly diagnosed cancers in the U.S.  It is also one of the most expensive cancers to treat over a patient’s lifetime and disproportionately impacts veterans and firefighters.

Through this award, BCAN seeks to bring enhanced urgency to the process of bladder cancer research and to support projects with novel approaches unlikely to be funded by industry or other sponsors.  Rather than supporting basic research which results in general knowledge and understanding of a disease, this award will fund translational research and clinical trials and have a more immediate impact on bladder cancer treatments and approaches to medical care.

“When my late husband John and I started BCAN 17 years ago, there were precious little resources for bladder cancer patients and only a handful of research studies designed to improve treatments and increase survival,” said Diane Zipursky Quale, BCAN’s co-founder. “The TCTA has the potential to spark dramatic improvement and quickly advance new treatment options for patients, improving their quality of life.”

This funding mechanism is intended to support projects that are practical, feasible, and that demonstrate a high likelihood of achieving the stated goals. Award recipients will be announced in February 2023.

The Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network’s (BCAN’s) mission is to increase public awareness about bladder cancer, advance bladder cancer research and provide educational and support services for the bladder cancer community.

Contact: Mark Story
Director of Communications and Marketing