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    What anti-PD-L1 immunotherapy approval means for urology

    FDA approval of a new form of immunotherapy as well as a companion diagnostic test will have a significant impact on patients with the most common type of bladder cancer in the U.S., a leading urologic cancer expert says.       

    Related: Genetics of two bladder cancer variants analyzed

    In May, the FDA approved atezolizumab (TECENTRIQ) for treatment of locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) that has progressed during or following platinum-based chemotherapy, or has worsened within 12 months of receiving platinum-based chemotherapy before or after surgery.

    The FDA also approved VENTANA PD-L1 (SP142) Assay (developed by Roche and available through LabCorp) as a complementary diagnostic for atezolizumab. The assay measures PD-L1 expression in the bladder cancer tissue and has an immune cell scoring algorithm that can help urologists and others identify potentially good candidates for atezolizumab treatment.

    Also see: Bladder cancer tests: What factors impact results?

    Atezolizumab, the first and only anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy approved by the FDA, was granted an accelerated, or conditional, approval because it helps to fill an unmet need. The drug is the first FDA-approved treatment for people with this specific type of bladder cancer in more than 3 decades, according to a press release from Genentech.

    Next: "Finally, now, we have a second-line therapy"

    Lisette Hilton
    Lisette Hilton, president of Words Come Alive, has written about health care, the science and business of medicine, fitness and wellness ...

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