Immunotherapy for Bladder Cancer
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What Makes Immunotherapy a Promising Treatment for Bladder Cancer?

Reviewed By: Padmanee Sharma, M.D., Ph.D.
The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX

One of the most common cancers in the U.S., bladder cancer affects men more likely than women—with an estimated 77,000 new cases predicted to be diagnosed in 2016, and approximately 16,000 deaths expected. Because of the recurrent nature of bladder cancer, patients with bladder cancer must monitor their health closely for an extended period of time.

Immunotherapy has seen and continues to deliver promising results in the treatment of bladder cancer—the first diagnosis for which immunotherapy became avilable, with the approval of the BCG (Bacillus Calmette–Guérin) vaccine in 1990. Since then, five checkpoint inhibitors—atezolizumab, avelumab, durvalumab, nivolumab, and pembrolizumab—have been approved for advanced bladder cancer, and there are numerous additional immune-based treatments for bladder cancer currently in development, with immunotherapy clinical trials for bladder cancer patients on the rise.

Bladder cancer immunotherapy has significantly reduced the risk of recurrence for bladder cancer, while also increasing the percentage of patients who see a complete response post-surgery. Investigational bladder cancer immunotherapies—those that "train" the body's immune system to recognize bladder cancer cells—have the potential to further improve the general outcomes for patients with this disease.

CRI's Impact on Bladder Cancer

Thanks to groundbreaking advancements in immunology research and clinical trials, immunotherapy has become one of the most promising bladder cancer treatments of our time.

Currently, the overall 5-year survival rate for bladder cancer is 77%—a rate which has not changed significantly over the last 10 years. Additionally, no new drugs for bladder cancer were approved by the FDA during this time.

New and developing bladder cancer immunotherapies have the potential to reduce recurrence rates and improve survival rates for patients with bladder cancer. Join us as we work to change the future of bladder cancer treatment—forever.

Featured Story

It was empowering to know that it was my immune system that did the job.

Sharon Belvin
Melanoma  |  Diagnosed 2004
Read My Story
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*Immunotherapy results may vary from patient to patient.