Matthew D. Galsky, MD, on Key Takeaways From 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting in Bladder Cancer

CancerNetwork® sat down with Matthew D. Galsky, MD, at the 2021 ASCO Annual Meeting to discuss his thoughts on research he believes has the greatest potential to impact standard of care treatment of bladder cancer.

At the 2021 American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Annual Meeting, CancerNetwork® spoke with Matthew D. Galsky, MD, of Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, regarding bladder-sparing approaches to bladder cancer and how new data may motivate more clinicians to utilize these treatment strategies. Galsky and colleagues presented findings from a study combining bladder-sparing surgery and systemic neoadjuvant therapy with nivolumab and chemotherapy.


I think that the biggest impact from studies at ASCO this year in the bladder cancer field probably have to do with bladder-sparing approaches. They really mark a new dawn in bladder-sparing approaches in bladder cancer in terms of integrating immune checkpoint blockade with radiation, or even without radiation in terms of trying to achieve bladder sparing. This is an approach that’s, of course, been used for decades. It is standard of care. There’s level one evidence for the approach, although it’s not practiced as frequently in some parts of the world as others. It could be that the integration of a new treatment modality into the bladder-sparing arena is a tipping point that is needed to really [motivate] the community to embrace this as a reasonable option for patients with bladder cancer.


Galsky MD, Daneshmand S, Chan KG, et al. Phase 2 trial of gemcitabine, cisplatin, plus nivolumab with selective bladder sparing in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC): HCRN GU 16-257. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 15):4503. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.15_suppl.4503