Combos and Biomarkers Will Shape the Future of Bladder Cancer Immunotherapy

Brittany Lovely
Published: Friday, Feb 01, 2019
Joaquim Bellmunt MD, PhD

Joaquim Bellmunt MD, PhD
Although multiple checkpoint inhibitors have been introduced into the bladder cancer treatment paradigm during the past several years, their use in the malignancy remains an unfolding story, according to Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD. The future, Bellmunt believes, is in identifying biomarkers and exploring combination therapy. Bellmunt, a leading investigator in the field, recapped developments in bladder cancer during the 3rd Annual International Congress on Immunotherapies in Cancer™ that Physicians’ Education Resource® (PER®) sponsored in New York, New York, in December 2018.

The challenge, he said, is to move beyond chemotherapy. As the role of immunotherapy continues to grow in the first and second lines of treatment, so does the need for a more personalized and targeted approach.

Status of Immunotherapy Drugs

Bellmunt offered an overview of the state of treatment for metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC), the most common type of bladder cancer: There had been no major changes in frontline treatment from the 1990s until the introduction of immune checkpoint inhibitors for those who are not eligible for cisplatin. The standard of care remains cisplatin chemotherapy in the frontline setting for those who can tolerate the regimen.
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