First bladder cancer drug in 30 years

2014 Research

New “immunotherapy” drugs shrank bladder cancer tumours in half of the patients with advanced disease. And in seven per cent of cases the tumours -disappeared completely.

Every year 10,400 people in the UK are diagnosed with bladder cancer – the seventh most common cancer. It claimed 5,081 lives in 2011, and survival rates are worsening in England, according to research published in the Journal of Clinical Urology.

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Scientists have failed to find a new treatment for almost three. In the research, sixty-eight patients took part with trials of “investigational immunotherapy MPDL3280A” through Cancer Research UK’s Experimental Cancer Medicine Centre.

Professor Peter Johnson, of CRUK said: “It’s exciting to see a potential new treatment for bladder cancer patients who have been waiting a long time for new therapies. The progress we’ve made in harnessing the body’s own immune system to fight cancer is an important step forward.

“Cancer can only grow by finding a way to escape detection by the immune system. One way is to trigger a shut-off switch on immune cells when they get close to the tumour.

2014 Research
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