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Bladder cancer – the neglected tumor: a descriptive analysis of publications referenced in MEDLINE and data from the register

Frank Kunath1*, Steffen F Krause2, Bernd Wullich1, Peter J Goebell1, Dirk G Engehausen1, Maximilian Burger3, Joerg J Meerpohl4 and Bastian Keck1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Urology, University Hospital Erlangen, Krankenhausstr. 12, 91054 Erlangen Germany

2 Department of Urology, General Hospital Linz, 4021 Linz Austria

3 Department of Urology and Pediatric Urology, Julius-Maximilians-University Medical Center, 97080 Würzburg, Germany

4 German Cochrane Centre, Department of Medical Biometry and Medical Informatics, University Medical Centre Freiburg, Freiburg, Germany

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BMC Urology 2013, 13:56  doi:10.1186/1471-2490-13-56

Published: 24 October 2013



Uro-oncological neoplasms have both a high incidence and mortality rate and are therefore a major public health problem. The aim of this study was to evaluate research activity in uro-oncology over the last decade.


We searched MEDLINE and systematically for studies on prostatic, urinary bladder, kidney, and testicular neoplasms. The increase in newly published reports per year was analyzed using linear regression. The results are presented with 95% confidence intervals, and a p value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.


The number of new publications per year increased significantly for prostatic, kidney and urinary bladder neoplasms (all <0.0001). We identified 1,885 randomized controlled trials (RCTs); also for RCTs, the number of newly published reports increased significantly for prostatic (p = 0.001) and kidney cancer (p = 0.005), but not for bladder (p = 0.09) or testicular (p = 0.44) neoplasms. We identified 3,114 registered uro-oncological studies in However, 85% of these studies are focusing on prostatic (45%) and kidney neoplasms (40%), whereas only 11% were registered for bladder cancers.


While the number of publications on uro-oncologic research rises yearly for prostatic and kidney neoplasms, urothelial carcinomas of the bladder seem to be neglected despite their important clinical role. Clinical research on neoplasms of the urothelial bladder must be explicitly addressed and supported.

Kidney neoplasms; Prostatic neoplasms; Randomized controlled trial; Testicular neoplasms; Urinary bladder neoplasms