Advancing Immunotherapy Impact in Bladder Cancer

In an interview with CURE, Arlene O. Siefker-Radtke, M.D., discusses immune treatment and the immune landscape for the treatment of patients with urothelial cancers.
BY GINA COLUMBUS @ginacolumbusonc
Immunotherapy agents may be taking the field of urothelial cancer by storm, according to Arlene O. Siefker-Radtke, M.D., but the therapies are still only responding in 15 percent to 25 percent of patients.

“Clearly, immune checkpoint inhibition is here to stay,” says Siefker-Radtke, associate professor, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Division of Cancer Medicine, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, clinical co-leader, Bladder SPORE Executive Committee. “We can stimulate the immune system and we are benefiting some of our patients who were previously incurable, yielding genuine durable partial and complete responses with these drugs. Unfortunately, the fraction is still low.”

Siefker-Radtke lectured on the dramatic shift in bladder cancer treatment during the 2017 OncLive® State of the Science Summit on Genitourinary Malignancies. In an interview during the meeting, she shed light on the exciting advances in the bladder cancer field, why researchers should move past PD-L1 as a biomarker and what combinations can be expected to move through the pipeline next.

Urothelial cancer treatment has drastically changed in less than one year. What did you highlight in your talk?

Siefker-Radtke: It truly is an exciting time to be in the field of urothelial cancer, since we’ve had our first approval for treatment in over 30 years. To finally have a new drug during my career is quite an exciting time. My presentation focused on the immune treatment and the immune landscape for the treatment of patients with urothelial cancers.

Talk about this article with other patients, caregivers, and advocates in the Immunotherapy CURE discussion group.
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