TUESDAY, May 17, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Immunotherapy after surgery helps reduce cancer recurrence in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American Urological Association, held from May 13 to 16 in New Orleans.

Matthew Galsky, M.D., from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City, and colleagues conducted longer-term follow-up among participants in the CheckMate 274 trial in which patients with high-risk muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma (MIUC) were randomly assigned to either adjuvant nivolumab (353 patients) or placebo (356 patients) after radical surgery.

The researchers found that with five additional months of follow-up, the disease-free survival benefit of nivolumab was maintained. At 12 months, disease-free survival probability was 63.5 percent with nivolumab and 46.9 percent with placebo. At 12 months, among patients with tumor programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) expression of ≥1 percent, the disease-free survival probability was 67.6 percent with nivolumab and 46.3 percent with placebo. For most subgroups, including analysis by age, sex, nodal status, use of prior cisplatin-based chemotherapy, and PD-L1 status, improvement in disease-free survival with nivolumab was maintained. Nonurothelial tract recurrence-free survival and distant metastasis-free survival were also improved with nivolumab.

“Longer-term follow-up data is important for reinforcing the initial results we published last year demonstrating for the first time that immunotherapy administered after surgery for bladder cancer and other urothelial cancer can decrease the risk of cancer recurrence,” Galsky said in a statement. “Almost 200,000 people die each year of urothelial cancer worldwide, so advances like immunotherapy being used in this manner bring hope.”

Authors disclosed financial ties to Bristol Myers Squibb, which manufactures nivolumab and funded the study.

Abstract PD10-01

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