Researchers from Queen Mary University, London, carried out an early-stage trial of a new therapy for advanced bladder cancer and have received success in it. The news is quite significant as around 5,000 people lose their lives in the UK every year due to bladder cancer.
Researchers have discovered that the immune system is able to recognise and eradicate cancer cells before they can spread when a patient is given a new drug.
The new antibody, called MPDL3280A, was trialled on 68 people with advanced bladder cancer after all other treatments known had failed.
Tumours shrunk for more than half of the patients after the received the new treatment for 12 weeks.
Two of the patients were completely cured of the disease.
“This study is a hugely exciting step forward in the search for alternative and effective advanced bladder cancer treatment,” Dr Tom Powles, Lead Author and Consultant Medical Oncologist, Barts Cancer Institute, Queen Mary University of London told The Telegraph.
“For decades chemotherapy has been the only option, with a poor outcome and many patients too ill to cope with it.”
More research is now needed to confirm the findings, but the team at Queen Mary hope to help thousands of people affected by bladder cancer shortly.
The drug has been given “breakthrough” designation status by the US Drug and Food Administration so that further trials can be processed without delay.