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Dr. Plimack on the Challenges With Available Immunotherapies for Bladder Cancer

Elizabeth Plimack, MD
Published: Monday, Aug 14, 2017



Elizabeth Plimack, MD, director of Genitourinary Clinical Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center, shares the challenges with FDA-approved immunotherapy agents for the treatment of patients with bladder cancer.

In the last year, there have been 5 new immunotherapy agents approved for patients with bladder cancer, which is a significant advance as there had not been an FDA approval in the field for decades prior. However, the issue with all of these PD-1/PD-L1 therapies is that are all vastly similar, Plimack explains.

Researchers are unable to see a difference between them. Moreover, while data or clinical trial design may differ, clinicians have not yet been able to see a difference in the agents themselves, she says. What the field needs, she adds, are novel therapies. Such examples of this include the combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and epacodostat, as well as a strategy exploring clinical success following failure on a checkpoint inhibitor.


Elizabeth Plimack, MD, director of Genitourinary Clinical Research at Fox Chase Cancer Center, shares the challenges with FDA-approved immunotherapy agents for the treatment of patients with bladder cancer.

In the last year, there have been 5 new immunotherapy agents approved for patients with bladder cancer, which is a significant advance as there had not been an FDA approval in the field for decades prior. However, the issue with all of these PD-1/PD-L1 therapies is that are all vastly similar, Plimack explains.

Researchers are unable to see a difference between them. Moreover, while data or clinical trial design may differ, clinicians have not yet been able to see a difference in the agents themselves, she says. What the field needs, she adds, are novel therapies. Such examples of this include the combination of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) and epacodostat, as well as a strategy exploring clinical success following failure on a checkpoint inhibitor.



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