Institute for Urologic Oncology

UCLA Institute for Urologic Oncology Lab

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.

Dr. Chamie
Doctor Kishan Amar

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.

Johannes Czernin and Jeremie Calais
Brian M. Shuch, MD

Tumor Repository Launched

Advancements have been made in the treatment of clear cell kidney cancer over the past decade largely due to efforts characterizing the disease through laboratory research. However, for rare kidney cancers such as those found with hereditary leiomyomatosis and renal cell cancer (HLRCC), most centers only evaluate and treat a small number of patients each year limiting the ability of academic centers to access biological specimens to study the cancers and develop possible treatments.

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.

Clinical Trial Spotlight

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.