ASCO GU 2021: Patient Perspective on Newly Diagnosed Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: What Do I Hope the Doctor Will Address?

( In a plenary presentation in the Navigating Uncertain Times in Muscle-Invasive and Advanced Bladder Cancer session at the 2021 ASCO GU Cancers Symposium, Mr. Richard Bangs provided the patient perspective for those with new diagnoses of muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Mr. Bangs highlighted that options at the time seemed overwhelming, with significant uncertainties. As he put it, at the time of his diagnosis in 2006, these were the “good ole days” of bladder cancer decision-making with choices limited to upfront cystectomy or initial chemotherapy and what diversion approach to take with surgery. While even those choices seemed daunting, Mr. Bangs emphasized that the options today are much broader. With these myriad more options and the uncertainties associated with making the “right choice” also comes the promise of better, more favourable outcomes.

In particular, Mr. Bangs emphasized the growing role of bladder preservation with trimodal therapy, an option he noted was dismissed at the time of his diagnosis in but a few sentences, as well as a proliferation of clinical trials. Finally, Mr. Bangs highlighted the growing role of immunotherapy.

With each of these answers, however, has come more questions and more uncertainty – what is the best sequence of treatments, what is the best timing, which treatment should be chosen for whom, when should surveillance end?

Presented by: Richard C. Bangs, Bladder Cancer Patient

Written by: Christopher J.D. Wallis, Urologic Oncology Fellow, Vanderbilt University Medical Center Contact: @WallisCJD on Twitter during the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology Genitourinary Cancers Symposium (#GU21), February 11th-February 13th, 2021