ASCO 2016 Highlight: Advanced Bladder Cancer Patients Benefit From Immunotherapy Treatment

Older African American man seriousASCO Perspective

“This and other immunotherapies have brought new momentum to bladder cancer treatment, which until recently had seen practically no treatment advances in more than a decade,” said Charles Ryan, MD, ASCO Expert in bladder cancer. “The fact that this treatment appears safe for elderly patients, who too often have few good options, is all the more encouraging.”

Anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ) is effective in patients with previously untreated advanced bladder cancer and not eligible for the standard treatment with cisplatin. According to a non-randomized phase II trial, atezolizumab shrank tumors in about a quarter of patients and yielded a median survival of 14.8 months. Typically, patients in this setting have a survival of nine to 10 months with carboplatin-based regimens.1

The study will be featured in a press briefing today and presented at the 2016 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting.

“Up to half of patients with advanced bladder cancer are too frail to receive the only known survival-prolonging treatment, cisplatin. There is really no standard treatment for such patients,” said lead study author Arjun Vasant Balar, MD, an assistant professor of medicine at the New York University Langone Medical Center and Director of Genitourinary Medical Oncology at the NYU Perlmutter Cancer Center in New York, NY. “We are encouraged to see that atezolizumab immunotherapy may help address this major unmet need.”