Institute for Urologic Oncology
New Approach to Bladder Cancer
A study of 82 patients with a high-risk form of bladder cancer, led by UCLA, shows that 71% of the patients, all of whom had not responded to typical therapy, responded to an experimental immunotherapy drug called NAI, which works by activating the body’s natural killer cells. After two years, 90% of the patients who responded to the drug avoided surgery to remove the bladder and there were no deaths from bladder cancer among all 82 patients. The study was funded by ImmunityBio and the results appear in NEJM Evidence. Karim Chamie, MD, Associate Professor of UCLA Urology, is the first author.
Improved Outcomes in Localized Prostate Cancer
Men with prostate cancer who are receiving radiation often benefit from adding to the treatment androgen deprivation therapy, a form of medication that reduces testosterone. Historically, men have been placed on androgen deprivation therapy prior to beginning radiation. In a large analysis of over 7,000 men treated internationally across 12 randomized trials, Dr. Amar Kishan, UCLA Health radiation oncologist and IUO member, and colleagues have shown that it is almost universally optimal for men to begin androgen deprivation therapy when starting radiation, so that most of the period of having a low testosterone is "backloaded" after radiation is complete.
New FDA Approval Received
From the joint efforts of two groups led by the nuclear medicine teams at UCLA and UCSF comes an important achievement that is likely to change patient care for men with prostate cancer. On December 1st, 2020 the FDA approved Gallium 68 PSMA-11 (68Ga-PSMA-11) for positron emission tomography (PET) imaging of prostate cancer.
Researchers create framework for evaluating how fast a cancer will grow
An international team of researchers led by UCLA’s Paul Boutros, have created a new way to accurately estimate how fast an individual cancer is evolving using open-source software, which makes big data sets easily accessible to the public. The findings can be used to develop more highly targeted cancer treatments. A paper detailing their method is published online in the journal of Nature Biotechnology.
Clinical Trials Spotlight
UCLA Health has a phase III trial to test enfortumab vedotin (EV) + pembrolizumab (pembro) given before and after surgery in people with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC). Karim Chamie, MD, Associate Professor of Urology, is the principal investigator.
Cancer and COVID-19
Please take extra measures to help protect yourself and reduce the transmission of the disease. This is particularly important for people with cancer. What everyone needs to know about COVID-19 (vaccine updates, getting testing, positive test results).
What You Should Know
Read about precautions cancer patients need to take.