A new treatment regimen that incorporates surgical resection to save organs could improve long-term quality of life in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, according to an expert at the Tisch Cancer Institute in New York.
“Actually, the key is to define which patients can benefit from which approach and, more importantly, for which patients these different approaches are safe, maximizing cancer cureability and long-term quality of life,” said Dr. Matthew D. Galsky, director of genitourinary medical oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute, in an interview with CURE®.
Galsky recently presented the results of a clinical trial at the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, which demonstrated that treatment with a surgical resection to save the bladder, along with Opdivo (nivolumab) and gemcitabine and cisplatin chemotherapies have induced promising results in patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer.
The researchers hope this approach can improve patient outcomes in the future, avoiding the need to surgically remove a patient’s bladder, which requires urinary flow diversion and has life-altering implications.
The multidisciplinary approach, according to Galsky, resulted in significant responses to treatment among study patients. In addition, Galsky noted recurrence-free survival with an intact bladder. However, the approach is not yet a standard of care and long-term follow-up data is needed.
Radical cystectomy to remove the bladder for the treatment of muscle invasive bladder cancer is the backbone of curative treatment for bladder cancer. But it is an operation that has a downside. And certainly, from a patient perspective, there has been an interest in options that might allow patients to retain their natural bladder. We feel that this is potentially a treatment approach, as are other bladder-preserving approaches, such as using radiation to the bladder. And really the key is to define which patients can benefit from which approach, and more importantly, for which patients these different approaches are safe, maximizing cancer cure capacity and long-term quality of life.
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