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Addressing Racial Disparities in Health Care

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The Latest Efforts to Preserve the Bladder

In solid tumors affecting organs, efforts have been made to preserve the organ while still eradicating the cancer. The same is true for bladder cancer. Radical cystectomy with pelvic lymph node dissection is a highly morbid procedure, which is often performed in patients who are already elderly and frail.

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Excitement Around Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors in the Neoadjuvant Setting for Bladder Cancer

The standard treatment for locally invasive bladder cancer is neoadjuvant chemotherapy followed by radical cystectomy. Recently, a number of studies have found that immune checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab (brand name: Opdivo), atezolizumab (brand name: Tecentriq), and durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) in the neoadjuvant setting are equivalent, and sometimes better than chemotherapy alone.

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Why Don’t Checkpoint Inhibitors Work for More Bladder Cancer Patients?

The FDA's approval of the first checkpoint inhibitors for metastatic bladder cancer in 2014 ushered in a new era of treatment. This was the first class of new drugs to be approved for this indication in decades. Yet despite initial optimism about checkpoint inhibitors, they only produce response rates of 15 to 25% in any setting -- chemorefractory, metastatic, BCG-unresponsive.

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Should Surgery Be Considered for Oligometastatic Bladder Cancer?

Treatment for metastatic bladder cancer is well established. The majority of patients receive systemic therapies such as chemotherapy or immunotherapy. But for patients in the transitional oligometastatic bladder cancer state, the consideration may also include radical cystectomy.

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Withdrawal of Durvalumab for Advanced Bladder Cancer “a Disappointing Loss”

On February 22, 2021, AstraZeneca announced that it was voluntarily withdrawing the checkpoint inhibitor durvalumab (brand name: Imfinzi) indication for previously treated patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.

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Identifying Ovarian Cancer Patients for PARP Inhibitors

How to determine which ovarian cancer patients will benefit most from PARP inhibitors such as olaparib (brand name: Lynparza) is still a big question in oncology. “If you're going to use a selective strategy to identify patients for PARP inhibitors, there are different approaches, different pathways,” says Dr. Stephanie Wethington, gynecologic oncologist at Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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Evaluating Risks versus Benefits of PARP Inhibitors for Ovarian Cancer Patients

Prescribing any medication or course of treatment involves weighing the risks versus the benefits to the patient, but balancing this equation is particularly crucial with cancer drugs which carry significant side effects and toxicity. As the data on treating ovarian cancer with PARP inhibitors becomes more promising and their use becomes more widespread, oncologists are looking for information on patient tolerance.

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Which Ovarian Cancer Patients Should Get PARP Inhibitor Maintenance Therapy?

PARP inhibitors are becoming an increasingly important part of the care for ovarian cancer. Professional medical societies have started to weigh in on how these drugs should be incorporated into clinical care, but providers still have many unanswered questions about their use.

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