Dr. Ghodoussipour on Ongoing Trials in Non–Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Partner | Cancer Centers | <b>RWJBarnabas Health and Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey</b>

Saum Ghodoussipour, MD, discusses ongoing trials in non–muscle invasive bladder cancer.

Saum Ghodoussipour, MD, urologic oncologist, director, Bladder and Urothelial Cancer Program, Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, assistant professor of surgery, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, attending, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, discusses ongoing trials in non–muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

Several interesting studies are taking place currently in NMIBC, which is how most patients with bladder cancer present, Ghodoussipour says. The standard of care currently is intravesical therapy with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), the vaccine for tuberculosis, Ghodoussipour adds. The therapy stimulates a local immune response in this patient population; however, almost half of patients do not derive a response resulting in the need for additional invasive treatments, Ghodoussipour explains.

Clinicians are studying BCG in combination with the checkpoint inhibitor pembrolizumab (Keytruda), with the goal of improving treatment after prior failure with BCG, Ghodoussipour continues. Moreover, clinicians are attempting to give BCG and pembrolizumab in the frontline setting for patients with treatment-naïve NMIBC to see whether it will improve outcomes for patients, Ghodoussipour concludes.