Inside the Shifting Treatment Landscape for Advanced Genitourinary Cancers

CUREGenitourinary Cancers Special Issue 2021

In this special issue of CURE®, we spoke with patients and health care providers about fertility issues, treatment advancements and other topics related to kidney, prostate, testicular and bladder cancers.

Surgery to remove cancer and even vital organs such as kidneys has been a mainstay of cancer treatment, but today, researchers are striving to find other options for patients. For example, nonsurgical treatments for patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma include the use of immunotherapy (which uses one’s immune system to attack cancer cells) and tyrosine kinase inhibitors (which block enzymes that aid in cancer growth).

Fifteen years ago, there weren’t many first-line treatment options for patients with this type of cancer, but now we have several — allowing patients and their oncologists to choose which treatment may work best for them.

In this special issue of CURE®, we spoke with a patient with metastatic renal cell carcinoma who obtained a second opinion after experiencing tumor growth while on a combination of two immunotherapy drugs. His new doctors suggested he enroll in a clinical trial that was testing an immunotherapy drug with a tyrosine kinase inhibitor. He enrolled and participated, which resulted in the cancer shrinking. “Every scan I had showed a decrease, and the overall reduction of my cancer was 54%,” he told CURE®. Two other patients interviewed for the story had similar experiences with the combination treatment, highlighting its effectiveness in treating this disease even in earlier stages.

In this issue, we also focus on preserving fertility in men diagnosed with testicular cancer. We spoke with one man who chose to bank sperm after receiving his diagnosis in 2013 because he and his wife were actively trying to have children. After undergoing treatment — and facing some issues with his specimens — he and his wife eventually had two beautiful daughters. Another man wasn’t concerned about having children when he received his testicular cancer diagnosis in his mid-20s, but he ended up adopting five children later in life. Despite this diagnosis, men have options when it comes to starting or growing their family.

In addition, you’ll meet an Army veteran with bladder cancer that may have been caused by Agent Orange exposure during his overseas tour of duty that included Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos. Veterans Affairs recently expanded its presumptive disease list for Agent Orange to include bladder cancer, which has been a long-awaited decision among the veteran community. “This is way overdue but so appreciated,” said the Army veteran.

This issue also includes articles on the potential benefit of active surveillance in patients with low-risk prostate cancer, the impact of the recent Food and Drug Administration approval of Trodelvy (sacituzumab govitecan-hziy) for the treatment of metastatic urothelial cancer and much more.

As always, thank you for reading.

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