Researchers have developed a new drug that can help the treatment of advanced bladder cancer.
A new drug is going through trials at the Queen Mary University in London was discovered to be effective in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer, a press release from the School of Medicine in the university said. The drug proved to be effective in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer is the first significant progress in the treatment of the disease in more than three decades.
A study published in the Nature journal said the treatment functions by depriving a protein from cancerous tumors they utilize to hide from the immune system. The PD-L1 protein is fought by the MPDL3280A antibody drug. The drug was developed by the Roche pharmaceutical company.
The lead author of the study, Dr. Tom Powles, said the study is a huge and exciting advancement in the search for a treatment of advanced bladder cancer. He said that for 30 years, the only option in fighting the disease was chemotherapy which had a very low success rate with numerous patients too sick to cope with it. He said the new treatment of advanced bladder cancer works by removing the camouflage protein PD-L1 and thus making the tumor visible to the immune system.
The scientists from Queen Mary gave the experimental medicine to 68 people suffering from advanced bladder cancer. All 68 of them underwent other forms of treatment unsuccessfully and were labeled terminally ill with only 6 to 8 months left to live. 30 of the 68 subjects had PD-L1 protein tumors. Within six weeks the tumors from 43 percent of the 30 patients have shrunk, and after 12 weeks the number raised to 52 percent. Two of them even showed no signs of the cancer after the treatment. The research noted that 10 percent of the patients who showed no sign of the PD-L1 protein also showed positive response to the treatment.
The treatment of advanced bladder cancer has received a ‘breakthrough status’ from the United States Food and Drug Administration and is set to receive testing. This means the drug may be used in the United States by the end of 2015.