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ASCO 2016 | The use of immunotherapy as a first-line therapy for bladder cancer

Thomas Powles, MD, PhD from Barts Cancer Institute, London, UK discusses a talk on immune checkpoint inhibitors in bladder cancer given at the American Society of Oncology (ASCO) 2016 Annual Meeting held in Chicago, IL. Topics discussed included immune checkpoint inhibitors and biomarkers. Prof. Powles discusses how atezolizumab, traditionally used in second line settings is now being used in the frontline setting for patients who are not eligible for cisplatin-based chemotherapy (NCT02108652); the survival of these patients increased from 8-9 months to 15 months. The study was small with around 120 patients, but according to Prof. Powles the results are an indicator on how to use new drugs. Further, drugs such as nivolumab and durvalumab also showed activity in these patients. Finally, Prof. Powles discusses the potential of immunotherapy to replace chemotherapy in certain cases.

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