Dr. Dreicer on Response to Immunotherapy in Urothelial Cancer

September 6, 2019
Robert Dreicer, MD

Robert Dreicer, MD, deputy director, UVA Cancer Center, director, Solid Tumor Oncology in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and a professor of Medicine and Urology, University of Virginia Health System, discusses response to immunotherapy in urothelial cancer.

Robert Dreicer, MD, deputy director, UVA Cancer Center, director, Solid Tumor Oncology in the Division of Hematology/Oncology, and a professor of Medicine and Urology, University of Virginia Health System, discusses response to immunotherapy in urothelial cancer.

Only approximately 20% to 25% of patients with advanced urothelial cancer are truly responsive to the checkpoint inhibitors that are currently available, says Dreicer. The challenge lies in identifying who is going to respond to this approach and who is not. More importantly, more effort needs to be dedicated to evaluating ways to broaden the response rates seen with immunotherapy.

To this end, there are several strategies under active investigation. For example, there is ongoing research looking at combinations of PD-1 inhibitors and CTLA-4 inhibitors. Those combinations seem to be suggestive of broadening activity, says Dreicer. Combinations of different therapeutic classes of drugs may also prove to be an effective strategy, such as combining chemotherapy with checkpoint inhibitors. These data will emerge over the next 12 to 24 months, concludes Dreicer.


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