Urothelial Carcinoma Year in Review to Focus on Immuno-Oncology Research

Urothelial Carcinoma Year in Review to Focus on Immuno-Oncology Research

Dr. Matthew I. Milowsky
Matthew I. Milowsky, MD, of the University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center, will deliver the urothelial carcinoma year in review lecture on February 17.  Dr. Milowsky is the acting section chief of genitourinary oncology, co-director of the Urologic Oncology Program, and clinic medical director of the North Carolina Cancer Hospital. He is also an associate professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine.

The lecture will focus on several important areas of research in urothelial carcinoma, including immuno-oncology. Specifically, Dr. Milowsky will discuss the use of checkpoint inhibitors, novel targeted therapies in molecularly selected patients, and using DNA damage repair genes to improve therapy.

In particular, he will review the significance of cohorts 1 and 2 of IMvigor210, a phase II trial that evaluated the effect of atezolizumab in patients with locally advanced or metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC).

[Read: New Drug Development in Urothelial Cancer: An Explosion of Riches?]

Cohort 1 included patients with mUC who were ineligible for cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and cohort 2 included patients with mUC whose disease progressed following or during platinum-containing treatment. Cohort 1 data, which were originally presented during the 2016 ASCO Annual Meeting, found that 24% of patients with mUC responded to atezolizumab, with a median overall survival of 14.8 months.1 This compared favorably with the 8- to 9-month survival in patients treated with standard chemotherapy.

Cohort 2 data, which were published in The Lancet by Rosenberg et al., demonstrated that atezolizumab was associated with durable responses in patients with mUC whose disease had progressed after standard platinum-based chemotherapy.2

Dr. Milowsky will also discuss how checkpoint inhibitors such as pembrolizumab can be used to treat patients with urothelial cancer. Pembrolizumab demonstrated promising results in KEYNOTE-045, a phase III trial that compared pembrolizumab to the researcher’s choice of paclitaxel, docetaxel, or vinflunine in patients with advanced urothelial cancer who had experienced disease progression after treatment with a platinum agent.

Finally, Dr. Milowsky will discuss promising data related to the use of targeted therapy in molecularly selected patients. For example, several new drugs are in development that will target FGFR3, a frequently altered growth factor in urothelial carcinoma. 

–Danielle Prieur