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    How will immunotherapy change the future of bladder Ca care?

     

    V. Michael Bivins, MDDr. Bivins“Our specialty is just hitting the tip of the iceberg with immunotherapy. We’ve had a taste of it in prostate cancer and we know the benefits. Now we’re seeing it in advanced bladder cancer. Patients are experiencing longer survival when treatments utilize the immune system to kill cancer. We’re very excited about that.

    We’re seeing its usefulness for advanced or metastatic bladder cancer patients who would either receive chemotherapy; or patients who don’t qualify for chemotherapy or who can’t tolerate, or aren’t candidates, for chemotherapy.

    Have you read: Have you ever felt threatened by a patient?

    As urologists, we’re not primary administrators of immunotherapy; it’s the oncologists. But to be able to add an additional treatment arm to these diseases is very exciting. We have an oncologist in our group so it’s a natural fit, but some urologists will get involved in immunotherapy. It is something urologists can do. We’ve had experience with immunotherapy for prostate cancer, so it’s something we may be able to place in our armamentarium of treatment options.

    Typically, these patients are already seeing oncologists or are being evaluated by oncologists, but I do think it’s something we could offer. If urologists are confident giving immunotherapy and understand how it works, the complications and how to deal with them, then that’s fine. At the end of the day we just want to be able to give patients the best care.”

     

    V. Michael Bivins, MD

    Birmingham, AL

    Next: "Urologists have become more comfortable with the concept of immunotherapy"

    Karen Nash
    Karen Nash is a medical reporter and media consultant based in Monroeville, PA.

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