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Media Contact: Vincent Joseph Dollard
  (404) 727-3366
17 November 2005
Winship Announces Phase II Clinical Study for Advanced Bladder Cancer
Emory Winship Cancer Institute is the only cancer research and treatment facility in Georgia to offer an innovative Phase II clinical trial for transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), a common form of bladder cancer. The clinical trial is testing the efficacy of the investigational drug Vinflunine. Vasily Assikis, MD, assistant professor of hematology and oncology and director of Winship's Prostate Cancer Translational Research Program is principal investigator.

"There is currently no standard treatment for patients with advanced bladder cancer who have received chemotherapy and their cancer is getting worse," said Dr. Assikis. "This study is promising and could make a major impact for that specific patient population." TCC refers to cancers of the layer of cells lining the inside of the bladder, the kidneys, ureters, or the urethra. More than 90 percent of bladder cancers begin in these transitional cells.

The use of Vinflunine as an anti-cancer agent is still in the experimental stage, but studies have demonstrated that the new drug exhibits anti-tumor activity by inhibiting cell division.

The primary purpose of the clinical trial, which is sponsored by Bristol-Myers Squibb, is to assess whether Vinflunine will shrink tumors or slow their growth. Doing so could potentially improve the condition of those patients with locally advanced-staged TCC of the urothelium who have been previously been treated with chemotherapy and whose disease has progressed. Patients participating in the clinical trial will be administered the drug Vinflunine intravenously.

Eligibility for the Vinflunine clinical trial requires prior use of chemotherapy for advanced bladder cancer. For more information about this trial, please contact Linda Vrooman, Research Nurse, at 404-778-5144 or e-mail

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