Another Reason for Excitement About Cancer Immunotherapy

CURE, Genitourinary Cancers Special Issue, Volume 1, Issue 1

In discussions of cancer these days, there may be no word mentioned more often than “immunotherapy,” and bladder cancer provides us with an excellent example of why this strategy is so important, writes our chairman and CEO, Mike Hennessy, Sr.

IN DISCUSSIONS OF CANCER these days, there may be no word mentioned more often than “immunotherapy,” and bladder cancer provides us with an excellent example of why this strategy is so important.

When the immunotherapy Tecentriq (atezolizumab) was approved for the treatment of advanced bladder cancer in May 2016, it became the first new therapy for patients in that population in 30 years.

Our special issue on genitourinary cancers brings you an article that shares details about this exciting breakthrough. We explain the mechanism of action of Tecentriq, an immune checkpoint inhibitor that frees up the body’s immune system to fight cancer, and we identify a number of similar drugs — as well as targeted agents — that are being tested in clinical trials for the treatment of this disease.

This issue also brings news of immunotherapy successes in other GU cancer types. The immune checkpoint inhibitor Keytruda (pembrolizumab) was recently approved to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma, and, in a clinical trial, the same drug is showing promising results in men with prostate cancer.

In this issue, we offer some practical thoughts on life after cystectomy for bladder cancer — particularly the sometimes difficult adjustment to using a neobladder — and facts patients should know about the association between treatment with cisplatin chemotherapy and hearing loss.

Finally, Olympic gold medal-winning figure skater Scott Hamilton, in an exclusive interview with CURE, shares recollections about his mother’s cancer journey, his own fight against the disease and his latest efforts to help support patients.

We hope you’ll find a healthy balance of education, hope and inspiration in this special issue on genitourinary cancers.

As always, thank you for reading.

MIKE HENNESSY, SRChairman and CEO