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Clinical trial at AdventHealth offers customized treatment to attack bladder cancer 

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AdventHealth is the first in the U.S. and the only health system in Florida to offer this new ‘precision medicine’ treatment.

bladder cancer anatomy

A new way of treating bladder cancer is now available to patients in Central Florida via a Phase II randomized trial at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute. This is the only site in Florida, and the first in the U.S., to open this groundbreaking treatment, known as the INTerpath-005 V940 mRNA vaccine Phase II trial.

“This vaccine is precision medicine at its best,” Dr. Guru Sonpavde, a medical oncologist at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute, as well as a member of the trial’s global steering committee, recently told Central Florida Health News. “Unlike most trials where all patients receive one specific drug, some of the patients in this trial will receive a new drug customized to target the specific mutated proteins only found in the cancer cells of that patient.” 

Guru Sonpavde, MD
Dr. Guru Sonpavde, a medical oncologist at the AdventHealth Cancer Institute, is part of the INTerpath-005 trial.

Participants will receive pembrolizumab (KEYTRUDA) combined with the new customized immunotherapy injection. KEYTRUDA alone has previously improved outcomes following surgical removal of aggressive muscle-invasive urothelial cancer.  

“This V940 drug is exciting in that it codes for 34 neoantigens (which are new mutated proteins) found only in cancer cells and this is injected into the patient intramuscularly every three weeks for up to nine times,” Sonpavde discussed with Becker’s on their Healthcare podcast. “This (drug) is extremely specific immunotherapy which looks highly promising.”

Sonpavde believes this trial offers a tailored treatment against bladder cancer. 

 ”I’m optimistic the combination drug treatment, the V940 vaccine plus KEYTRUDA, in this trial will be safe and successful and will lead to a Phase III trial,” he recently told the American Hospital Association.

He envisions this custom treatment to become more widely available worldwide soon. Bladder cancer patients don’t have to wait years for access, the trial is now open. Patients need a referral and should ask their doctor if they’re interested.

For more information, contact the AdventHealth Clinical Research GU Coordinator at [email protected].

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