From the Desk of the Editor

Ashish M. Kamat | June 11, 2017

It is with great pleasure that I welcome you to the Center of Excellence on Bladder Cancer. “The time is now”. This is an often used phrase in literature, often enough to be considered a cliché. Yet it is exactly this term which applies to the field of bladder cancer research today.

After decades of relative stagnation our field is moving at a dizzying pace toward meaningful improvements in patient care for those suffering from this disease. From better understanding of variant histology, knowledge of the genetic profile of tumors, identification of key signaling pathways, advances in immunotherapy, the adoption of enhanced recover pathways, and more, we now have the tools to make truly meaningful improvements in our patients’ outcomes.


Ashish Kamat

Ashish Kamat, MD, MBBS, is a Professor of Urology and Wayne B. Duddleston Professor of Cancer Research at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. Dr. Kamat serves as; President of International Bladder Cancer Group, Co-President of International Bladder Cancer Network, and Associate Cancer Center Director. Dr. Kamat served as the Program Director, of the MD Anderson Urologic Oncology Fellowship from 2005-2016.

State-of-the-industry video lectures by leading urology experts
Everyday Urology - Oncology Insights
Publications focusing on urologic cancer treatments through original manuscripts
By Ashish M. Kamat, MD, MBBS

More than 81,000 individuals are diagnosed with bladder cancer in the United States every year, of whom 75% have non-muscle invasive disease.1,2 Unfortunately, half these cases recur despite transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT), and from 5% to 25% of repeated recurrences progress to muscle-invasive disease.3,4,5

By Neal Shore, MD, FACS
Initial Considerations
From BCG to interferon gene therapy, physicians have treated bladder cancer with immunotherapy for decades. Treatment particulars generally depend on whether bladder cancer is non-muscle invasive, muscle-invasive, or metastatic. About 75% of patients have non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC),1 which is considered high-risk if it consists of non-invasive papillary carcinoma (TaHG), carcinoma in situ (CIS), or T1 (minimally invasive) tumor of the lamina propria.2,3 For high-risk NMIBC, multiple peer-reviewed trials and meta-analyses support 1-3 years of intravesical immunotherapy with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) to significantly lower the risk of recurrence,4,5,6,7,8 progression, and death.9,10,11
By Arjun Balar, MD
Until recently, decades had elapsed with little progress in treating metastatic urothelial cancer (mUC). Cisplatin-based chemotherapy, the best available treatment option, had a median overall survival (OS) of 12-15 months, an overall response rate (ORR) of 50-60%, and was curative in about 10% of cases, but also was associated with potentially serious toxicities.12, 13, 2, 7, 3 
By Petros Grivas, MD, PhD

Urothelial cancer (UC), also known as transitional cell carcinoma, is the 5th most common cancer in the United States, and it arises more commonly in the bladder than in other parts of the urinary tract. An estimated 79,030 new cases of UC are expected in 2017. Of these cases, there will be about 12,240 deaths in men and 4630 in women. Bladder cancer accounts for approximately 5% of all new cancers. For the past 30 years, bladder cancer-related mortality had remained unchanged.1,2 
By Ashish M. Kamat, MD, MBBS and Janet B. Kukreja, MD, MPH,
Everyday Urology-Oncology Insights: Volume 2, Issue 1

Bladder cancer presents an ever increasing health care burden across the globe. The large majority of patients diagnosed with bladder cancer are over the age of 55, with an average age at the time of diagnosis of 73 and an increasing percentage 80 years and older.1 Men are about three to four times more likely to get bladder cancer during their lifetime than women.1
Library Resources
Evidence based monographs by experts to define and guide clinical practice
Written by Justin T. Matulay, MD, and Ashish Kamat, MD, MBBS
Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary tract and second only to the prostate in the entire genitourinary system. The most updated available global estimate, based on registry data collected through the year 2012,
Written by Janet Baack Kukreja, MD, MPH and Ashish Kamat, MD, MBBS
Bladder cancer was one of the top five leading causes of cancer death in 2015.1 Most of these cases are of urothelial histologic origin. For about 35% of patients, bladder cancer is either muscle-invasive or metastatic at disease presentation.
Written by Roger Li, MD and Ashish Kamat, MD, MBBS
In the previous sections, we have covered Epidemiology, Diagnosis, and Pathology of Bladder Cancers. As noted, most patients present at a potentially curative stage non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Although NMIBC can generally be managed with endoscopic resections followed by some form of intravesical therapy, some have the potential to progress to muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) or develop metastases.
Written by Justin T. Matulay, MD and Ashish Kamat, MD, MBBS
There are no reliable screening tests available for detecting bladder cancer; hence the diagnosis is usually made based on clinical signs and symptoms. Painless hematuria – microscopic or gross – is the most common presentation and a hematuria investigation in an otherwise asymptomatic patient detects bladder neoplasm in roughly 20% of gross and 5% of microscopic cases.1,2
Conference Coverage
Recent data from conferences worldwide
Presented by Ricardo Leão, MD
Barcelona, Spain ( Up to 3/4 of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) patients will endure recurrence during their lifetime. 
Presented by Yair Lotan, MD
Barcelona, Spain ( At the urogenital cancer treatment session, Dr. Yair Lotan discussed the impact of blue light flexible cystoscopy and utilization in the clinic setting. Dr. Lotan notes that there are several unmet medical needs
Presented by Arlene O. Siefker-Radtke, MD
San Francisco, CA ( Immune checkpoint inhibitors are approved both in the first line and second line for patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma. In the first line, KEYNOTE 052 showed that pembrolizumab
Presented by Scott T. Tagawa, MD, MS
San Francisco, CA ( Sacituzumab govitecan (SG) is a humanized antibody-drug conjugate, made from anti-Trop-2 monoclonal antibody linked with SN-38, the active metabolite of irinotecan.1
Presented by Yair Lotan, MD
San Francisco, CA ( Dr. Yair Lotan presented on Genomic Insights and Biomarkers for Treatment Selection in Muscle-Invasive and Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer. He discussed the role of markers
Presented by Ananya Choudhury, MA, Ph.D., MRCP, FRCR
San Francisco, CA ( In this case panel discussion, 3 patient cases were reviewed highlighting important points in the management of bladder cancer. The text below includes a summary of each
Presented by Robert A. Huddart
Toronto, Ontario ( In this discussion, the topic of bladder preservation was presented by Dr. Huddart from the Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust in the United Kingdom.
Presented by Joaquim Bellmunt, MD
Toronto, Ontario ( In this discussion, Dr. Bellmunt presented the standard of care in second-line management of advanced bladder cancer and gave an update on targeted therapies.
Presented by Jeff Holzbeierlein, MD, FACS
San Francisco, CA (  Dr. Holzbeierlein began his discussion on the new muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC) guidelines,1

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