Dr. Steinberg’s research and clinical missions focus on improving treatments for bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is the 6th most common cancer in the US, resulting in over 15,000 deaths in 2013. Bladder cancers are divided into two broad classes: non-muscle invasive and muscle invasive. Although muscle invasive bladder cancer represents 30 percent of newly diagnosed cases each year, it accounts for most bladder cancer deaths. The most common curative therapy for muscle invasive bladder cancer is bladder removal in conjunction with chemotherapy. In selected patients, chemo-radiotherapy is employed to preserve bladder function. Currently, it is difficult to predict which patients will benefit from each therapy. Patients with early metastasis do not benefit from bladder removal, many patients do not benefit from chemotherapy combined with surgery, and radiotherapy fails in approximately 30-50 percent of selected patients. Dr. Steinberg is interested in developing a personalized approach to the treatment of bladder cancer, as well as more effective, less toxic treatments. In addition, Dr. Steinberg partners with basic science researchers across the University to identify and characterize the bladder tumor-initiating cells (BTICs) in bladder cancer that promote metastasis and resistance to non-surgical therapy, which is a crucial step toward discovering new therapeutic targets and selecting the most appropriate therapies for individual patients.