According to the American Cancer Society, over 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed each year. Here at Virginia Cancer Specialists (VCS), we are excited to bring more options to patients in the form of new FDA-approved therapies for metastatic bladder cancer.
We at VCS are proud to play a vital role in the development of these new treatments through an extensive clinical trial program that has contributed to the FDA approval of multiple therapies. We have ongoing trials that focus on later line therapy, which offer hope to those with more advanced cancers. We actively enroll patients in new clinical trials so we can provide leading-edge therapies and bring exciting new treatments to the forefront. These trials provide new therapy options for those who previously faced a dead end.
Immunotherapy, a therapy option that has been generating a lot of well-deserved buzz, works by turning on the immune system to start attacking cancer cells. While chemotherapy is still a relevant and effective treatment option on its own, new clinical trials have been combining chemotherapy with immunotherapy in search of a better way to treat bladder cancer.
In other exciting developments, whole genomic sequencing (also called Next Gen Sequencing), a form of testing that provides information about patient genes, has given us the ability to identify a specific mutation important in the treatment of some bladder cancers. These mutations, which exist in approximately 20% of bladder cancer patients, can provide information on how the cancer will respond to certain treatments. FDA-approved drugs exist that are able to target mutations with a 30-40% response rate.
Science is finally catching up with patient need, and I, for one, can’t wait to see what’s next.
Daniel G. Chong, M.D. attended the University of Virginia where he graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Biochemistry. He earned his medical degree from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, then went on to complete his residency and internship at the Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University. While there, he served as Chief Medical Resident and won the Rahn-Peacock Research Award among other academic honors.
Dr. Chong joined Virginia Cancer Specialists after serving as Chief Fellow in the Medical Oncology and Hematology Fellowship program at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. During his time there, Dr. Chong was also a Clinical Research Fellow at the Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center, where he participated in various studies, including several focused on prostate cancer. He has presented posters at national physician conferences and has authored several peer-reviewed publications. Dr. Chong is a member of both the American Society of Hematology and the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
In his spare time, Dr. Chong enjoys running and spending time with his family, including his three daughters.