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Dr. Meeks highlights the recent innovation in bladder cancer

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"BCG worked well enough that we could give it to patients and it worked pretty well. But having the shortage, I think, has ultimately led to a bottleneck and then an explosion in the technology and the resources and the techniques to treat patients with non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer," says Joshua J. Meeks, MD, PhD.

In this video, Joshua J. Meeks, MD, PhD, recaps a session at the 2024 American Urological Association Annual Meeting titled, “Harnessing Innovation in Bladder Cancer Care: Expert Strategies for Effectively Implementing Modern Therapeutic Advances Across the Disease Continuum.” Meeks is the Edward M. Schaeffer, MD, PhD, professor of urology and an associate professor of urology and biochemistry and molecular genetics at Northwestern University School of Medicine in Chicago, Illinois.

Video Transcript:

It's an incredibly exciting time in bladder cancer. This session was broken into 3 parts. Ashish Kamat talked about non–muscle-invasive [bladder cancer], and that is just a scorching hot area of bladder cancer, because there's so many therapies and options. BCG worked well enough that we could give it to patients and it worked pretty well. But having the shortage, I think, has ultimately led to a bottleneck and then an explosion in the technology and the resources and the techniques to treat patients with non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer. That ultimately leads to yesterday's plenaries that were the trials in progress. We saw 3 very strong phase 2 trials that reported response rates that were in the neighborhood of 60% to 80% at a year. We were stuck before 15% to 20%. If you hit 30%, you were a compound that was probably going to get reviewed by the FDA and potentially be approved. Now we're almost double that within a couple of years. I think it's an incredibly exciting time for our patients. And the questions that most of us have are, we've gone from having 1 option– and I'd say that most people would say, gemcitabine/docetaxel after BCG is probably many of us would use because it was very effective–and now we could potentially have 5 or 6 options for patients. So, what's the right choice for them? And how do you get to that point where we figure out economic perspective, burden on coming back and forth? For example nadofaragen [firadenovec is] given every 3 months, so that's a huge benefit for folks. It's nice. We're going from nothing to having 4 or 5 options and being able to talk to patients about "this is what you can expect from this.} And there's more coming. It's great for the AUA in 2024 to have those results presented in plenary fashion. Traditionally, they would go to ESMO, GU ASCO, [or] ASCO. So, to have urology based outcomes presented at the AUA is really great. That's a great addition to me.

This transcription has been edited for clarity.

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