Tag Archives: Clinical Trials

New Challenges Exposed in Treating Bladder Cancer

Just Because an Answer is Presented with Obstacles That Doesn't Mean it's Impossible.
Just Because an Answer is Presented with Obstacles That Doesn’t Mean it’s Impossible.

Checkpoint inhibitors, one of the major forms of cancer immunotherapy, have played a significant role in the way doctors treat bladder cancer. Researchers are now tackling new challenges in order to improve the effectiveness of these treatments.

Checkpoint Inhibitors and Bladder Cancer

Five checkpoint inhibitors recently received approval from the Food and Drug Administration: Keytruda, Opdivo, Tecentriq, Imfinzi and Bavencio. All five have been tested as both first-line and second-line treatments.

When used with patients who had previously been untreated, these therapies achieved a positive response in 15 to 25 percent. As second-line treatments for patients who had received chemotherapy, only Keytruda showed improvement in overall survival rates.

Solving the Puzzle of Patient Selection

Andrea Necchi, a medical oncologist from Italy, spoke on the topic at last year’s European Multidisciplinary Meeting on Urological Cancers. Necchi explained that patients who respond to checkpoint inhibitors have a high chance of success, so it becomes an issue of patient selection.

According to Necchi, one condition that appears to inhibit use of cancer immunotherapy is the presence of mutations in fibroblast growth factor receptors (FGFR). Testing of pan-FGFR receptors suggests that using them before or after treatment with checkpoint inhibitors could increase chances of a positive response.

Since the use of the five checkpoint inhibitors alone will not boost survival rates, researchers are testing them in different combinations with other treatments, including other checkpoint inhibitors.

Issels®: Leading the Way in Cancer Immunotherapy

Our individually tailored cancer immunotherapy programs are not clinical trials. We have a long track record of helping our patients achieve long-term remission, even with late-stage cancer. Contact us for more information.

Multiple Myeloma Patients React Positively to CAR T Cells Treatment

New Discoveries for Making Cancer Easier to Bear Are Sprouting Up!
New Discoveries for Making Cancer Easier to Bear Are Sprouting Up!

CAR T cells, engineered from a patient’s own immune cells, have proved to be a valuable weapon in immunotherapy cancer treatment. Now, recent trials demonstrate that CAR T cells may be effective against advanced multiple myeloma.

Global Testing of CAR T Cells

Earlier this year, two groups performed tests on CAR T cells designed to target B-cell maturation antigen (BCMA), a protein specific to myeloma.

  • Researchers in China conducted a study in which 33 of 35 patients went into complete remission within two months of treatment.
  • A team in Tennessee administered different doses of the CAR T cells to 21 patients. Beyond the first-level dose, patients experienced a 100 percent response rate, with 27 percent achieving a stringent complete response indicating no presence of the disease.

In another encouraging result, patients in both trials who experienced side effects were able to be successfully treated.

How CAR T Cells Fight Cancer

Unlike more traditional forms of cancer treatment, CAR T cells fall under the umbrella of immunotherapy. A patient’s individual immune cells are harvested from their blood, then engineered to target antigens, which are foreign bodies that trigger an immune response.

The CAR T cells are multiplied until they reach a quantity in the billions, then reintroduced into the patient. According to Dr. James Kochenderfer, lead author of the U.S. study, the key is targeting antigens that aren’t expressed in healthy tissues.

Immunotherapy at Issels®: State-of-the-Art Cancer Treatment

For decades, Issels® has been a leader in the healthcare community with our non-toxic, personally-tailored immunotherapy programs. Visit our website to hear success stories from patients with all forms of cancer.