Immune therapy for advanced bladder cancer yields promising results

May 31, 2014

A multi-center phase I study using an investigational drug for advanced bladder cancer patients who did not respond to other treatments has shown promising results in patients with certain tumor types, researchers report. Yale Cancer Center played a key role in the study, the results of which will be presented Saturday, May 31 at the 2014 annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.

The trial included 68 people with previously treated advanced , including 30 patients identified as PD-L1 positive. PD-L1 is a protein expressed by many tumor types that can render the cancer invulnerable to . The patients in the study were treated with MPDL3280A, a drug being developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche group.

At six weeks, the objective response rate (ORR) was 43%; at 12 weeks, the ORR was 52% in patients with PD-L1-positive tumors. A complete response—one showing no evidence of tumors—was seen in 7% of PD-L1 patients. In patients with PD-L1-negative tumors, the response rate was 11%.

The results in advanced bladder cancer patients "point to a new era in cancer treatment for a disease that has not seen a major advancement since the introduction of cisplatin-based combination therapy in the 1980s," said the study's senior author Daniel P. Petrylak, M.D., professor of medicine and urology at Yale Cancer Center and Yale School of Medicine. "We look forward to opening the phase II trial at Yale in June to confirm these findings."

Yale Cancer Center enrolled 12 of the 68 patients on the trial at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.

Explore further: Biomarker identifies melanoma patients who may respond to immunotherapy MK-3475

Related Stories

Recommended for you

New method offers potential for uncovering how cancer begins

January 18, 2017

At Baylor College of Medicine, scientists have developed a method that allows them to accurately determine the genes expressed in single cells. Among other applications, this technique can be useful to study how cancerous ...

Study reveals why cancer cells spread within the body

January 17, 2017

Each day, more than 1,600 people die from cancer in the US, and 450 in the UK, mostly because the disease has spread beyond a stage when surgery is an effective cure and has become resistant to therapy. Despite decades of ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.