Arjun V. Balar, MD, assistant professor, Department of Medicine, director, Genitourinary Medical Oncology Program, NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center, discusses the impact of immunotherapy on patients with bladder cancer.
The introduction of immunotherapy will not affect the use of chemotherapy, as it is still used often for patients with bladder cancer. In the first-line setting, 5% to 10% of patients have cancer that is rapidly growing and highly symptomatic. Immunotherapy for these patients is not very effective, and Balar says that they should be treated with chemotherapy.
In the second-line setting after immunotherapy, chemotherapy can still be an effective tool. Combinatorial approaches of chemotherapy with immunotherapy are beginning to show promise, and are currently being investigated in phase III trials, says Balar.