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Bladder Cancer Linked To Breast Cancer Gene

Breast cancer drug might help treat a type of aggressive bladder cancer

A gene found in fast-growing breast cancers has also been found in an aggressive type of bladder cancer. The discovery has prompted some to theorize that a drug used to treat HER2 breast cancers — trastuzumab — might be successful one day in treating an aggressive bladder cancer called a micropapillary urothelial carcinoma (MPUC). Presently, treatment options for patients with MPUC are early detection or a major surgery called a cystectomy. A cystectomy is the surgical removal of all or part of the bladder to treat bladder cancer

A pathologist and his associates at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, found that women with the HER2 breast cancer gene had a nearly three-fold increased risk of bladder cancer death. The researchers reached this conclusion after they reviewed the pathology reports of patients undergoing a cystectomy at the Rochester-based medical center from 1980 to 2008. Results of the study were published in Modern Pathology.

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