City of Hope Researchers Publish First Report on a Protein Inhibitor for Advanced Bladder Cancer

June 8, 2018 | by Letisia Marquez

Sumanta Kumar Pal Sumanta Kumar Pal, M.D.
Advanced bladder cancer is particularly difficult to treat. The five-year survival rate for Stage 4 bladder cancer is only about 15 percent.

City of Hope researchers continue to investigate ways to treat patients diagnosed with advanced bladder cancer.

Led by Sumanta Kumar Pal, M.D., City of Hope associate clinical professor in the Department of Medical Oncology & Therapeutics Research and co-director of the Kidney Cancer Program, a study published recently in Cancer Discovery found that a novel drug — BGJ398 — blocks a key protein called FGFR3 that drives bladder cancer. By blocking that protein, BGJ398 successfully treated a specific population of patients with advanced bladder cancer.

This is the first published report on a FGFR3 inhibitor in patients with advanced bladder cancer.

Pal and his team saw substantial tumor shrinkage and delays in tumor growth with abnormalities in the FGFR3 protein in patients who were treated with BGJ398. In several cases, patients who had tried multiple therapies and didn’t respond to them did see positive results with BGJ398.

“The activity suggests a new possible paradigm for treatment — specifically, screening for relevant mutations in bladder cancer and treating accordingly,” Pal said. “With further investigation, agents like BGJ398 could fit a huge unmet need in this disease.”

In 2018, an estimated 81,190 people will be diagnosed with the disease, and 17,240 will die from it.

BGJ398 is currently being developed by QED Therapeutics.

Sign up to receive the latest updates on City of Hope news, medical breakthroughs, and prevention tips straight to your email inbox!

Back To Top

Search Blogs