Team:SZU China/Background


The majority of people may have learned that smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer, but you may not know that almost 50% of the bladder cancers are also related to smoking. As we all know, bladder is a vital organ in our urinary system. However, bladder cancer is listed as the most commonly encountered urinary carcinoma in China and it ranks No.2 in America. According to management goals and prognosis, the bladder cancers are classified as non-muscle-invasive, muscle-invasive, and metastatic.[1] Although methods for early diagnosis of bladder cancer have been improved, the 5-year survival rate of metastatic bladder cancer has not been changed significantly[2] According to the National Cancer Institute of the United Nation, almost 74,000 people in America will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year and this number has been increasing for 30 years, which means more and more people will have to face bladder cancer in the future. Therefore, it’s very important for us to come out with an efficient way to cure bladder cancer.

There are many types of treatment for bladder cancer nowadays. Chemotherapy and radiation therapy, for instance, are two major types of treatments.[3] However, chemotherapy can not only kill cancer cells, but also healthy cells that grow and divide very quickly, thus creating a considerable side effects such as mouth sore and hair loss. There is also another type of treatment called targeted therapy, which can specifically target at cancer cells with no affect on healthy cells. So this year, we’re trying to construct a gene circuit based on AND GATE and Unnatural Amino Acid (UAA) Orthogonal System to selectively express therapeutic gene in bladder cancer cells to kill them specifically.


[1] Falke J, Witjes JA. Contemporary management of low-risk bladder cancer. Nat Rev Urol. 2011;8:42–9.
[2] Lei AQ, Cheng L, Pan CX. Current treatment of metastatic bladder cancer and future directions. Expert RevAnticancer Ther. 2011;11(12):1851–62.
[3] Marta GN, Hanna SA, Gadia R, Correa SF, Silva JL, Carvalho Hde A. The role of radiotherapy in urinary bladder cancer: current status. Int Braz J Urol. 2012;38(2):144–53.