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Dr. Singh on the Role of Chemotherapy in Bladder Cancer

Parminder Singh, MD, hematologist/oncologist, Mayo Clinic, discusses the evolving role of chemotherapy in the treatment of bladder cancer.

Parminder Singh, MD, hematologist/oncologist, Mayo Clinic, discusses the evolving role of chemotherapy in the treatment of bladder cancer.

The rise of immunotherapy in bladder cancer gave oncologists optimism that they could shy away from chemotherapy, Singh says, but right now it appears that not enough patients are responding to checkpoint inhibitors. In other disease types like lung cancer, data show that chemotherapy in combination with immunotherapy is improving outcomes for patients. As a result, chemotherapy is likely to make a comeback in bladder cancer in terms of sensitizing the immune system to immunotherapy.

Chemotherapy is believed to be immunosuppressive, but recent findings indicate it can make a tumor “hot,” meaning that it will allow the body to naturally fight the disease with its immune system. Singh concludes that chemotherapy will evolve in bladder cancer treatment to be used with immunotherapy.

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