Bernard H. Bochner, MD, FACS, chair of surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of molecular profiling in the treatment of patients with bladder cancer.
Bernard H. Bochner, MD, FACS, Sir Murray F. Brennan Chair in Surgery, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, discusses the importance of molecular profiling in the treatment of patients with bladder cancer.
We are learning a tremendous amount about the biology of bladder cancer, Bochner says, in large part due to the advanced technology and availability of genetic testing. Importantly, bladder cancer is not 1 disease but a number of heterogeneous subtypes that can be targeted with individualized therapy. As such, the field is ripe for genetic testing that will allow for the identification of additional pathways and alterations that had not previously been considered.
There is also the need for additional biomarkers to provide prognostic and predictive value. As new therapies are developed, it is important to understand which patients will benefit and which patients will become resistant. Moreover, it is critical to identify patients who are at high risk of developing advanced disease after local therapy so that they can receive combination treatment upfront. On the other hand, patients who have a good outcome with local therapy may be able to avoid the need for systemic therapy, Bochner says.