New Trial Targets Kidney Cancer Drug in Bladder Cancer

According to the American Cancer Society, 69,000 cases of bladder cancer were diagnosed nationwide last year with some 2,600 new cases in New Jersey. That is why researchers at The Cancer Institute of New Jersey are currently investigating a new way to enhance currently available treatments for the disease. CINJ is a center of excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

Janice M. Mehnert, MD, medical oncologist at CINJ and assistant professor of medicine at UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, is the lead investigator on a study that is testing the effectiveness of a drug called sorafenib when combined with the drugs gemcitabine and carboplatin, which is a chemotherapy regimen commonly used in bladder cancer. The trial also is being offered at two other centers in the Northeast.

Sorafenib is an oral agent that is currently approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of kidney cancer. It is considered one of the newer “targeted therapies” which has begun to receive a lot of attention in recent years. It is thought that sorafenib may have activity against blood vessels, which nourish bladder tumors and may make current chemotherapy more effective. This study will test this combination by allowing patients to take sorafenib orally at the same time they are receiving chemotherapy.

“Our ultimate goal is to improve current therapies for patients with advanced bladder cancer, since current therapies do not work well at all,” stated Dr. Mehnert. “At The Cancer Institute of New Jersey, our mission is to develop new treatments for patients that have limited options.” According to the American Cancer Society, bladder cancer is the second most frequently diagnosed cancer of the genitourinary tract. The chance of a man developing the disease in his lifetime is one in 27, while for a woman it is one in 85.

Patients with bladder cancer that is advanced may be eligible for the study, as long as they have not had chemotherapy for their advanced cancer (earlier forms of chemotherapy may be acceptable); if they have adequate kidney function; and if they meet other eligibility criteria. For more information on how to take part, individuals should call CINJ’s Office of Human Research Services at 732-235-8675.

Clinical trials, often called cancer research studies, test new treatments and new ways of using existing treatments for cancer. At CINJ, researchers use these studies to answer questions about how a treatment affects the human body and to make sure it is safe and effective. There are several types of clinical trials that are currently underway at CINJ, including those that diagnose, treat, prevent, and manage symptoms of cancer. Many treatments used today - whether it is drugs or vaccines; ways to do surgery or give radiation therapy; or combinations of treatments - are the results of past clinical trials.

As New Jersey’s only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, CINJ provides patients with access to treatment options not available at other institutions within the state. CINJ currently enrolls more than 1,000 patients on clinical trials, including approximately 15 percent of all new adult cancer patients and approximately 70 percent of all pediatric cancer patients. Enrollment in clinical trials nationwide is fewer than five percent of all adult cancer patients.

About The Cancer Institute of New Jersey
The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is the state’s first and only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, and is dedicated to improving the prevention, detection, treatment and care of patients with cancer. CINJ’s physician-scientists engage in translational research, transforming their laboratory discoveries into clinical practice quite literally bringing research to life. The Cancer Institute of New Jersey is a center of excellence of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. To support CINJ, please call the Cancer Institute of New Jersey Foundation at 1-888-333-CINJ.

The Cancer Institute of New Jersey Network is comprised of hospitals throughout the state and provides a mechanism to rapidly disseminate important discoveries into the community. Flagship Hospital: Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. Affiliate Hospitals: Bayshore Community Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Morristown Memorial Hospital, Carol G. Simon Cancer Center at Overlook Hospital, CentraState Healthcare System, Cooper University Hospital*, Jersey Shore University Medical Center, JFK Medical Center, Raritan Bay Medical Center, Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital at Hamilton (CINJ at Hamilton), Saint Peter’s University Hospital, Somerset Medical Center, Southern Ocean County Hospital, The University Hospital/UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School*, and University Medical Center at Princeton.

Source: Cancer Institute of New Jersey

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