Bladder Cancer Discovery: Immunotherapy as Maintenance Treatment

Bladder cancer is the sixth most common cancer in the United States. Bladder cancer is usually diagnosed at “superficial” or non-invasive stages, when it only involves the lining of the bladder and can be treated with removal of the cancerous tissue alone. However, some patients develop high-risk tumors that are likely to come back and grow deeper into the muscle and surrounding tissues. For these recurring or metastatic cases, the current standard of care is 4 to 6 cycles of chemotherapy.

Although most patients with advanced bladder cancer can control the disease with chemotherapy, unfortunately chemotherapy has not been known as a sustainable treatment practice. Each year physicians and researchers work to find more about what causes the disease, how to find it as soon as possible and how best to treat it.

Dr. Jeanny Aragon-Ching

At the 2020 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Virtual Scientific Program, Dr. Jeanny Aragon-Ching from the Inova Schar Cancer Institute was a contributing author to an article outlining the first time any immunotherapy treatment demonstrated overall survival benefit as maintenance treatment for advanced metastatic bladder cancer after receipt of chemotherapy.

“The main question as researchers we ask ourselves, is can we improve upon the standard of care,” says Dr. Aragon-Ching. “This clinical trial breakthrough is the first of its kind for bladder cancer patients and will change the landscape of treatment. It’s a truly amazing feat for an international phase III trial and we are especially excited as Inova Schar is one of the few American centers participating in such a groundbreaking study.”

The research, which was shared with oncologists across the country, outlined how patients treated with JAVELIN Bladder 100 showed no progression of disease and significantly longer survival rates.

At Inova, we treat all types of bladder cancer, whether common or rare, early or more advanced. We bring together a team of urologists, medical oncologists, radiation oncologists, surgeons and other experts to design a treatment plan that is personalized to each individual patient.

Learn more about the Inova Genitourinary Cancer Program and our commitment to personalized care.

Read Dr. Aragon-Ching’s coauthored article here: Maintenance avelumab + best supportive care (BSC) versus BSC alone after platinum-based first-line (1L) chemotherapy in advanced urothelial carcinoma (UC): JAVELIN Bladder 100 phase III interim analysis

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