The Third Annual Albert Institute Bladder Symposium was held on September 8-10th, 2016, in Denver Colorado. Participants discussed several critical topics in the field of bladder cancer: 1) Best practices for tissue analysis and use to optimize correlative studies, 2) Modeling bladder cancer to facilitate understanding and innovation, 3) Targeted therapies for bladder cancer, 4) Tumor phylogeny in bladder cancer, 5) New Innovations in bladder cancer diagnostics. Our understanding of and approach to treating urothelial carcinoma is undergoing rapid advancement. Preclinical models of bladder cancer have been leveraged to increase our basic and mechanistic understanding of the disease. With the approval of immune checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of advanced urothelial carcinoma, the treatment approach for these patients has quickly changed. In this light, molecularly-defined subtypes of bladder cancer and appropriate pre-clinical models are now essential to the further advancement and appropriate application of these therapeutic improvements. The optimal collection and processing of clinical urothelial carcinoma tissues samples will also be critical in the development of predictive biomarkers for therapeutic selection. Technological advances in other areas including optimal imaging technologies and micro/nanotechnologies are being applied to bladder cancer, especially in the localized setting, and hold the potential for translational impact in the treatment of bladder cancer patients. Taken together, advances in several basic science and clinical areas are now converging in bladder cancer. These developments hold the promise of shaping and improving the clinical care of those with the disease.
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