Hope on the Horizon: Advances in Bladder Cancer Research

bladder cancer treatmentsCancer remains a devastating diagnosis. However, it’s not the medical sentence that it used to be. According to the National Cancer Institute, in 2022, up to 47% of people diagnosed with cancer have lived at least 10 years after being diagnosed. What’s more, there are new advancements in bladder cancer treatments that continue to give patients hope.

What New Treatments Are on the Horizon?

The most common treatments for bladder cancer are chemotherapy, surgery, and radiation therapy, and scientists are continuing to work on targeted therapy to help treat bladder cancer. Targeted therapy gives the body a dose of medication targeting cancer cells directly. This treatment option does far less damage to existing cells than other forms of cancer treatment.

Several studies are determining the most effective treatments. For example, one study looks at people with a variation in genes FGFR2 or FGFR3. Only 20% of bladder cancer patients have this gene, but specific treatments may be effective against the cancer. Other studies are examining the possibility of combination treatments for bladder cancer and are currently in clinical trials.

The Ongoing Research Into Gene Therapy

Gene therapy is an innovative treatment option projected to be available this year in 2023. The FDA approved nadofaragene firadenovec-vncg. When immunotherapy cancer treatments aren’t working as expected, this drug might help. It’s specially designed to be effective on bladder cancer that has not yet reached the muscle, often called non-muscle bladder cancer. Gene therapy is not as invasive as surgery and has fewer side effects than treatments like chemotherapy.

What Are the New Standards Emerging?

Chemotherapy is the standard course of treatment for cancer, including bladder cancer treatments. However, scientists are working to change that. A new drug called enfortumab vedotin has been approved. Scientists saw astounding results in studies. Some people saw their cancer disappear, while others saw their tumors drastically shrink. Many hope treatments like enfortumab vedotin will become the new standard as the first treatment for cancer patients instead of patients having to see whether chemotherapy is effective first.

For years, radiation and chemotherapy were the standard line of treatment for every type of cancer, but new bladder cancer treatments are offering hope for patients. For more information about bladder cancer treatments, don’t hesitate to reach out to Palo Verde Cancer Specialists today.

Posted 10/20/23

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