`Revolutionary` immune therapy holds key to treatment of advanced bladder cancer
Washington: A multi-center phase I study using an investigational drug for advanced bladder cancer patients who did not respond to other treatments has shown promising results in patients with certain tumor types, researchers report.
Yale Cancer Center played a key role in the study, the results of which will be presented Saturday, May 31 at the 2014 annual conference of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) in Chicago.
The trial included 68 people with previously treated advanced bladder cancer, including 30 patients identified as PD-L1 positive. PD-L1 is a protein expressed by many tumor types that can render the cancer invulnerable to immune attack.
The patients in the study were treated with MPDL3280A, a drug being developed by Genentech, a member of the Roche group.
At six weeks, the objective response rate (ORR) was 43per cent; at 12 weeks, the ORR was 52per cent in patients with PD-L1-positive tumors.
A complete response - one showing no evidence of tumors - was seen in 7per cent of PD-L1 patients. In patients with PD-L1-negative tumors, the response rate was 11per cent.
Yale Cancer Center enrolled 12 of the 68 patients on the trial at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven.