Effectiveness of a new bladder cancer treatment demonstrated


Scientific Highlights


Researchers from the Molecular Cancer group at the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM) and doctors from Hospital del Mar, have demonstrated the effectiveness of a drug for treating metastatic bladder cancer in patients who did not respond to the usual treatment. The preliminary results of an ongoing clinical trial show that TAK-228, a mTORC1/2 protein inhibitor, can stop the progression of the disease.

The principle behind this drug is the inhibition of the mTORC1/2 protein, commonly present in tumours. This protein plays a key role in the development and spread of tumours. The researchers analysed its effectiveness in the laboratory, in bladder cancer cell lines both in vitro and implanted into mice. They also worked with fresh tissue from the tumours of patients. The novelty is that, at the same time, they designed a clinical trial that is now underway.

The results, published in Molecular Cancer Research, demonstrate not only the good preclinical results of this drug, but that these are even better when combined with other treatments. At the same time, the researchers determined that it was more effective on a subgroup of tumours with particular characteristics, certain genetic alterations that could be used as therapeutic targets”, explain the researchers.

It involves an inhibitor of a dual protein, mTORC1/2, which is key in tumour growth

Good results in patients

The clinical trial, which evaluated seven patients, reports that four of these showed a positive response to the drug. In these sufferers, tumour growth was slowed and tumour progression avoided. These were metastatic bladder cancer patients who did not respond to the usual treatments, including immunotherapy.

Currently in the United States, only one treatment for a bladder cancer molecular target has been approved. It is a unique treatment, differing from chemotherapy or radiation therapy. Dr. Bellmunt highlights this fact, pointing out that. This studied drug could become a second potential therapeutic target in bladder cancer patients. It is not chemotherapy, radiotherapy, or immunotherapy, but it attacks specific genetic alterations found in tumours.


Reference article

Hernández A, Rodríguez-Vida A, Juanpere N, Arpí O, Menéndez S, Soria-Jiménez L, Martínez-Fernández A, Iarchouk N, Rojo F, Albanell J, Brake R, Rovira A, Bellmunt J. Novel oral mTORC1/2 inhibitor TAK-228 has synergistic antitumor effects when combined with paclitaxel or PI3Kα inhibitor TAK-117 in preclinical bladder cancer models. Mol Canc Res 2019; 17(9): 1931-1944.


C/ Doctor Aiguader, 88

08003 Barcelona

(+34) 93 316 04 00