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Lead Researcher Discusses FDA Approval of Pembrolizumab for Urothelial Carcinoma

Danielle Bucco
Published: Monday, May 22, 2017

Arjun V. Balar, MD

Arjun V. Balar, MD

The FDA approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for the first-line and second-line setting has delivered yet another new immunotherapy option for patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma.

, Arjun V. Balar, MD, a lead investigator on pivotal pembrolizumab research in bladder cancer, and an assistant professor, Department of Medicine, and director, Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program, NYU's Perlmutter Cancer Center, discussed the impact of the approval of pembrolizumab and other immunotherapy agents in urothelial carcinoma, as well as the next steps with these treatments.

OncLive: Can you discuss the significance of the recent FDA approval of pembrolizumab in bladder cancer?

Balar: It comes down to which approval we’re talking about, whether it is the second line or the first line. For the second line, at that point, pembrolizumab becomes the 5th drug approved for the second-line treatment of bladder cancer. From that perspective, it adds to our armamentarium in terms of options that we can provide our patients. It's similar in terms of the class of drug. It’s a PD-1 antibody, allowing it to work on the PD-1 axis, making the response and safety very similar to other agents in its class. 
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TitleExpiration DateCME Credits
Community Practice Connections™: Advancing the Treatment of Bladder Cancers Using Evidence-Based Immuno-Oncology StrategiesJul 30, 20191.0
Medical Crossfire®: Where Are We Headed in the Treatment of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer?Jul 31, 20191.5
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