Research projects

NCCN announces funding for bladder cancer research projects, in collaboration with Pfizer and EMD Serono

The National Comprehensive Cancer Network’s Oncology Research Program selects projects focused on improving patient care and outcomes for locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.

PLYMOUTH MEETING, Pa., November 10, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — The National Comprehensive Cancer Network® (NCCN®) Oncology Research Program (ORP) today announced awards and funding for projects focused on improving the quality of patient care and outcomes for locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. Funding and oversight will be provided through support from Pfizer and EMD Serono.

Surgically unresectable metastatic bladder cancer remains largely incurable, with few patients surviving more than two years. Real-world studies suggest that only about half of bladder cancer patients receive appropriate first-line treatment and, of these, many are not offered second-line or subsequent treatment despite survival benefits with these treatments. The goal of these projects is to address barriers, challenges and opportunities for improving care, through navigation, expert care review, shared decision-making, workflows care planning and patient-reported outcomes.

“The NCCN guidelines already contain evidence-based recommendations to improve bladder cancer outcomes; we now need to address the many factors that prevent patients from receiving optimal treatment. These quality improvement projects will explore potential methods to overcome some of the barriers, including patient age. , socio-economic status and location,” said Crystal S. DenlingerMD, FACP, Senior Vice President, Scientific Director, NCCN. “Congratulations to all of these inspiring researchers. We hope their work can provide actionable information and answers to guide improvements in the quality of patient care.”

The selected projects are:

  • Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
    • Management of cisplatin-ineligible patients with metastatic bladder cancer and the role of geriatric assessments
  • Adam Gadzinskydoctor, Beaumont Health
    • ECHO metastatic bladder cancer
  • Dharmesh GopalakrishnanMD, Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center
    • A comprehensive education and navigational support program for advanced bladder cancer
  • Soumati GuptaMD, Huntsman Cancer Institute at University of Utah
    • Integrating geriatric and oncology care principles into advanced urothelial cancer care
  • Anoop Meraney, MD, Hartford Health Care
    • Using patient-reported data to improve care for patients with advanced bladder cancer
  • nihal mohamedPhD, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai
    • Assessment of supportive care and educational needs to guide quality of care improvements for patients with locally advanced and metastatic bladder cancer (ACCESS)

The proposals were peer-reviewed by a scientific review board, made up of leading expert oncologists from NCCN Member Institutions. Selected projects must be completed within two years. Approximately $1.2 million in funding will be provided through all grants.

The NCCN ORP promotes innovation and the discovery of knowledge that improves the lives of people with cancer and supports preclinical, translational, and clinical research and quality improvement projects in oncology at NCCN member institutions. To enhance collaboration in cancer research, the NCCN ORP also maintains a shared resource sitea informed consent databaseand points to consider on the best practices for biorepositories, registries and databases. For more information, visit

About the Comprehensive National Cancer Network

The Comprehensive National Cancer Network® (NCCN®) is a non-profit alliance of leading cancer centers devoted to patient care, research and education. NCCN is dedicated to improving and facilitating quality, effective, equitable, and accessible cancer care so that all patients can live a better life. The NCCN Clinical Practice Guidelines in Oncology (NCCN Guidelines®) provide transparent, evidence-based, expert consensus recommendations for cancer treatment, prevention, and support services; they are the recognized standard for clinical guidance and policy in cancer management and the most comprehensive and frequently updated clinical practice guidelines available in all fields of medicine. The NCCN Guidelines for Patients® provide expert information on cancer treatment to inform and empower patients and caregivers, with support from the NCCN Foundation®. The NCCN is also progressing continuing education, global initiatives, Politicsand research collaboration and publication in oncology. Visit for more information and follow the NCCN on Facebook @NCCNorginstagram @NCCNorgand Twitter @NCCN.

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SOURCE Comprehensive National Cancer Control Network