University of York Researchers Shed New Light on Causes of Bladder Cancer

University of York Researchers Shed New Light on Causes of Bladder Cancer

When one thinks in terms of leading research universities across the globe the ‘University of York‘ makes an important part of the list & has gained immense popularity for its advanced research projects. Recently, a study on common viruses at York showed some unexpected results. This study was funded by the charity York Against Cancer & they covered all the expenses of this research.

Researchers at the ‘University of York’ used human bladder cells grown in a favorable laboratory environment to demonstrate that the BK viruses and their traits are the prominent cause that leads to bladder cancer. These viruses are termed to be responsible for DNA damage as witnessed in bladder tumors. BK viruses mostly affect children & can remain hidden in kidneys for a longer period. These are reactivated by the medical treatments which weaken the immune system and one who suffers from bladder cancer shows cold-like symptoms in the body. At times, these viruses can also rebuild during old age in certain people. However, studies by researchers from the ‘University of York’ state that reactivation of the BK virus triggers the bladder cells to utilize specialized enzymes (APOBECs) for destroying the viruses which eventually damage the DNA of the human bladder cells & leads to bladder cancer.

Although smoking is termed as the major cause of bladder cancer, but when scientists examined DNA from the bladder tumors they did not find the unusual patterns of the DNA damage that they expected from the smoke carcinogens. It was found that the DNA bladder tumors are the damage carriers and exhibit pattern resemblance similar to APOBECs enzymes.

Dr Simon Baker (Lead Study Author) from the Department of Biology stated that findings from this research have revised their knowledge about the cause of bladder cancer. He witnessed that infection caused due to BK viruses lead to bladder cancer and these viruses activate the bladder cells to make use of APOBEC’s enzymes which results in damaging DNA leading to unseen circumstances.

Director of the Jack Bech Unit – Professor Jimny Southgate from the University of York also stated that this research analysis has brought significant evolutions & has made him understand the causes of bladder cancer.

Both Professor Jimny Southgate & Dr Simon Baker have been involved in this research. Dr Simon Baker has recently been awarded a Kidney Research UK Fellowship for studying the BK infection in kidney transplant patients. He is also responsible for analysing and connecting the links between the BK virus & bladder cancer.

Dr Simon Baker also said that this fellowship has opened up the door for versatile discovery opportunities in terms of conducting research for the benefit of patients. They would also research the infection in renal transplant patients as it is also known to be another reason which leads to bladder cancer.

The main reason to conduct this research was to find out why immunosuppressed people are more prone to suffer from bladder cancer & what are the ways through which we can prevent this at the early intervention stages, said Dr Simon Baker. It also focuses on improvising the treatment methods for patients along with preventing the major havoc of bladder cancer. He also said that the research team is looking for approval & considerations for developing a BK vaccine similar to the HPV vaccine which has resolved the issue of cervical cancer considerably reducing the number of cervical cancer patients.

Looking forward to becoming a Researcher or Scientist in future? In that case, the ‘University of York’ would be the perfect pick for you due to the spectacular academics & course curriculum. It’s a research-intensive university and is also listed under the ‘Top Russell Group Universities’ & ‘National Student Survey’ (NSS) for providing excellent academic support & learning opportunities to the students. It’s also ranked 14th overall & 10th in the UK for the impact of its research in the Times Higher Education’s Rankings by (REF) Research Excellence Framework 2014. Get in touch with Speak2University experts to know about the Undergraduate (UG) & Postgraduate ( PG) courses taught at the university. Book a consultation call now!


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