New Immune Therapy Drug Gives Bladder Cancer Patients Fresh Hope

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New Immune Therapy Drug Gives Bladder Cancer Patients Fresh Hope

There is a new medication for bladder cancer now approved for prescribing; it’s the first new drug for this condition in 30 years.

A newly approved drug that gives the immune system a boost helped stall the spread of tumors in patients with advanced bladder cancer, researchers reported Sunday.

It’s not a slam-dunk, but it’s another piece of good news for the latest approach to treating cancer by harnessing the body’s immune system.

The drug, called atezolizumab and sold under the brand name Tecentriq, works in a similar way to Keytruda — the drug credited with stopping former president Jimmy Carter’s advanced melanoma.

In the study, the treatment stopped tumors from growing in 24 percent of the advanced bladder cancer patients, and shrank them by 30 percent, the team told a meeting of the American Society for Clinical Oncology in Chicago.

“Immunotherapy really treats your body’s immune system so your immune system can fight the cancer for you,” said Dr. Arjun Balar, an assistant professor at NYU Langone Medical Center who treated some of the patients.

Earlier immune therapy approaches to cancer involved revving up the immune system, but it did not always work very well and caused some unpleasant side effects.

Other, more successful approaches, involve training immune cells to recognize a patient’s specific tumors, or finding and amplifying a patient’s own tumor-specific immune cells. They’re labor-intensive and don’t work for everyone.

Read Full Article: New Immune Therapy Drug Gives Bladder Cancer Patients Fresh Hope – NBC News

Read Full Article: New Immune Therapy Drug Gives Bladder Cancer Patients Fresh Hope – NBC News

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