Combination Immunotherapy Holds Promise for Patients with Rare Bladder Cancer

A woman recently came to Bradley McGregor, MD, an oncologist at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, in severe pain with extreme fatigue. Her squamous cell bladder cancer, a rare type for which traditional treatment is generally less effective, had advanced, and it appeared that she had no other options. But timing is everything. McGregor was conducting a … Read more

After Cancer Treatment, Father and Daughter Come Out With an Even Stronger Bond

As father and daughter, there are many things Dennis Gorden and Becky Nutley share: a contagious smile, the instinct to help others, and a commitment to family, to name a few. But one thing they never imagined they would have in common was a cancer diagnosis. In 2014, routine blood work revealed that Becky Nutley, … Read more

Cancer Treatment: A Look at How It Has Evolved in 70 Years

In 1947, when Dana-Farber Cancer Institute founder Sidney Farber, MD, set out to find a drug treatment for childhood leukemia, cancer treatment took two forms – surgery to cut out cancerous masses, and radiation therapy to burn them out. Cancers that couldn’t be removed or irradiated – either because of their position in the body, because … Read more

How Is Immunotherapy Used to Treat Bladder Cancer?

Treatments that improve the immune system’s ability to recognize and kill cancer cells are known as immunotherapy. For certain patients with advanced bladder cancer, immunotherapy is proving effective, and several immunotherapy drugs are approved for use in such patients. Currently approved treatments A checkpoint inhibitor is a drug — often made of antibodies — that … Read more

Immunotherapy Beats Chemotherapy for Advanced Bladder Cancer Patients

The immunotherapy drug pembrolizumab (Keytruda) is the first therapy of any kind to improve survival in patients whose metastatic bladder cancer worsened after treatment with platinum-based chemotherapy. Keytruda proved so much better than chemotherapy in this “second-line” use that an international clinical trial was halted when the advantage became apparent. “This is very good news; … Read more