Dr. Galsky on the Role of Ipilimumab in Bladder Cancer
Matthew D. Galsky, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Hematology and Medical Oncology, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, director, Genitourinary Medical Oncology, Tisch Cancer Institute at Mount Sinai Medical Center, discusses the role of ipilimumab in bladder cancer.
Galsky says physicians are still trying to determine the role of ipilimumab in bladder cancer. When patients with early stage bladder cancer are given drugs like ipilimumab before surgery, the surgery sample shows that the drug is achieving its goal of recruiting immune cells to the tumor.
Even though biologically and mechanistically the drug is doing what it is supposed to do, Galsky says, it has not yet been translated into the treatment of advanced bladder cancer. In order to take the next step, researchers are exploring ipilimumab in patients with metastatic bladder cancer by first giving chemotherapy in an attempt to kill cancer cells and release tumor antigen. Galsky says the hope is that ipilimumab will then be able to augment the immune system to attack the cancer cells.