Bladder-Saving Treatment Regimen Shows Promise in Patients with Bladder Cancer

A combination of treatment with bladder-saving surgical resection, Opdivo and chemotherapy yielded positive results in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

A novel treatment regimen that incorporates an organ-saving surgical resection may improve the long-term quality of life in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, according to an expert from the Tisch Cancer Institute in New York.

“Really the key is to define which patients may benefit from which approach, and importantly, for which patients are these different approaches both safe, maximizing both the cure ability of the cancer, and long-term quality of life,” said Dr. Matthew D. Galsky, director of genitourinary medical oncology at Tisch Cancer Institute, in an interview with CURE®.

Galsky recently presented findings from a clinical trial at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting that demonstrated that treatment with a bladder-saving surgical resection, along with Opdivo (nivolumab) and the chemotherapies gemcitabine and cisplatin induced promising results in in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Researchers hope that this approach may improve patient outcomes in the future by avoiding the need to surgically remove a patient’s bladder, which requires diversion of the urinary stream and has life-altering implications.

The multidisciplinary approach, according to Galsky, resulted in significant responses to treatment among patients in the trial. Moreover, Galsky noted that bladder-intact recurrence-free survival. However, the approach is not yet a standard of care and longer-term follow-up data is necessary.

Transcription:

Radical cystectomy to remove the bladder for treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer is a backbone of curative treatment for bladder cancer. But it's an operation not without a downside. And certainly, from a patient perspective, there has been an interest in options that might allow patients to retain their native bladder. We think this is potentially one such treatment approach, as are other bladder-sparing approaches like using radiation to the bladder. And really the key is to define which patients may benefit from which approach, and importantly, for which patients are these different approaches both safe, maximizing both the cure ability of the cancer, and long-term quality of life.

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