National Bladder Cancer Research Center

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To learn more about Dr. O’Donnell and the work he is doing for bladder cancer: pages on WebCafe: interferon.asp

External sites from Expert M.A.O’Donnell, U of Iowa
Bladder Cancer Research IInstitute

Biologic Therapy in Bladder Carcinoma
BCG+Interferon Alpha for Superficial Bladder Cancer: Physician’s protocol

-Projects in Knowledge
: New Prospects in the Treatment of Superficial Bladder Cancer.


Board certified urologic surgeon, Dr. Michael O’Donnell offers his patients a full spectrum of bladder cancer treatment options, and directs a research laboratory that includes some of the nation’s most distinguished scientists.

Dr. O’Donnell earned his medical degree from Duke University School of Medicine in 1984, and completed the Harvard Urology Residency Program, as well as a fellowship at Harvard’s Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, and the Whitehead Institute of Biomedical Research at MIT in Cambridge, MA. He is a fellow in the American College of Surgeons and a member of the American Urological Association, American Association of Immunologists, the Society for Urologic Oncology, the Society for Basic Urologic Research, and the European BCG Immunotherapy Network, among others.

Bladder Cancer Research Fund A Non-Profit Organization

The Bladder Cancer Research Fund was created to raise funding for programs that focus solely on fighting cancer. To a large extent, we depend upon outside funds to:
• start new research programs
• develop educational materials
• organize scientific seminars
• provide travel funds to our fellows and staff for conferences

The cure for bladder cancer will come with a thorough understanding of how the disease affects the human body, as well as a complete map of the body’s defenses against disease invasion. Intense focus on the cellular changes that occur with the introduction of various forms of therapy is crucial to understanding the disease process, and, ultimately, conquering it.

How can we help?

To make a donation to the fight against bladder cancer
To make a donation to the fight against bladder cancer, please make checks payable to:
University of Iowa Department of Urology , with’ Bladder Cancer Research Fund’ in the memo line. They can be mailed to:

Attn: Dr. Michael O’Donnell.
University of Iowa
Department of Urology
200 Hawkins Dr., 3 RCP
Iowa City, IA 52242-1089

For more information on the National Bladder Cancer Research Center, and to learn how you can help support the fight against bladder cancer, please contact:

Beth Allen
University of Iowa
200 Hawkins Dr, 3123 RCP
Iowa City, IA 52242-1089
Phone (319) 384-6040
Fax (319) 356-3900

Dr. Michael A. O’Donnell, founder of the Bladder Cancer Research Fund, has been working toward this goal for many years. When Dr. O’Donnell first evaluated interferon-alpha and BCG as a combination therapy for bladder cancer, he envisioned it as a therapy for the future.

That future is here.

Dr. O’Donnell has worked tirelessly on this therapy combination since 1994, when he set up two clinical trials in Boston while at Harvard’s Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. He personally lobbied Schering-Plough, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, to fund a phase II study. The goal of this study is to determine the efficacy and toxicities of the treatment. That study opened in May 1999 and by January 2001, more than 1100 patients were enrolled in 125 study sites nationwide.

Dr. O’Donnell currently co-directs a National Phase III trial comparing his combination treatment to conventional therapy in 1200 patients with superficial bladder cancer.

From Research Laboratory to Clinic
Three distinct service teams provide their expertise in our battle against bladder cancer. Basic science research in applied immunotherapy is conducted by lead scientists Yi Luo, PhD, Xiaohong Chen, MD, and David Evanoff.

Kathleen Lilli, R.N., Christina Leopold, Beth Allen, and Jenny Schultz of the ‘Clinical Trials Office’ team, oversee an 1100-patient, investigator-initiated, national phase II clinical trial at 125 cites throughout the U.S.

Dr. O’Donnell also provides intravesical therapy treatments for clinical trial bladder cancer patients, and with assistance from Kim Rexroad, PA-C, holds a weekly clinic for patients in the University of Iowa’s National Cancer Institute designated Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center.