Bladder cancer clinical trial match and a Q&A with the Crush It For Curtis Foundation team
More than 80,000 people in the US will be diagnosed with bladder cancer this year. Treatment options have come a long way, and now include surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy — but many come with less than desirable side effects, and bladder cancer may recur. Research in this area is critical.
That’s why Antidote has prioritized adding bladder cancer to our Antidote Match clinical trial search tool, providing the opportunity for patients to quickly and easily match to bladder cancer clinical trials. We did this work in collaboration with and at the urging of Curtis Garbett of the Crush it for Curtis Foundation (CIFCF) and his advisors.
We caught up with our partners at CIFCF, a bladder cancer advocacy group, to discuss their work and how Antidote’s addition of bladder cancer to Match could help their community. What follows is an interview with Curtis Garbett, Founder and Patient Advocate, Dr. Mark Monahan, a Urologist, and Dr. Michael Harrison, a Medical Oncologist.
Q&A with the Crush It For Curtis Foundation team
Antidote: What is your organization’s origin story? How did CIFCF come to be?
Curtis: The organization Crush It For Curtis Foundation For Bladder Cancer Advocacy formed in October 2017 to focus on bladder cancer patients. We strive to improve health, change stigmas, and raise a more prominent voice for all affected by bladder cancer. Our mission is to accelerate cancer research and connect the people who need it most with medical researchers. We focus on education and raising awareness about current advancements in comprehensive genomic profiling, immunotherapy, clinical trials, and emerging therapies for the treatment of bladder cancer.
Antidote: We started working together last year, and as part of our partnership, we’ve worked on getting the bladder cancer search into better shape for patients. Why was that collaboration important for you?
Dr. Monahan: When patients have better access to clear and concise information about their particular stage of bladder cancer, they will be much better informed about the guidelines and recommendations concerning their treatment as well as options for new trials and experimental medications.
Antidote: What would your advice be for people who are considering participating in clinical trials as part of their treatment journey?
Dr. Monahan: Try to approach trials with an open mind. Patients should remember they will likely be getting treatments that are no worse than the standard of care and potentially better. Also, that patients will be helping to advance the treatment options for other patients like them.
Antidote: What is new and exciting in bladder cancer research? What is the most exciting development?
Dr. Monahan: For me, the most exciting recent development in bladder cancer treatments has been the approval of treatments using immunotherapy for non-muscle invasive cancers that have failed traditional therapies. Hopefully, this will prevent the need to remove the bladder in some patients.
Dr. Harrison: For me, the most exciting development is the advent of novel therapies, such as checkpoint inhibitors, antibody-drug conjugates, and FGFR inhibitors, for advanced/metastatic disease that may also hold benefit for muscle-invasive and non-muscle-invasive diseases too. Further efforts are underway to combine these active therapies and to discover new immunotherapy approaches.