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A New Treatment For Bladder Cancer is Approved by the F.D.A

May 19, 2016 07:46 AM EDT

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a new drug from Roche for immunotherapy to treat bladder cancer. Bladder cancer is a form of cancer for which there has been no significant treatment over the years.

The drug Tecentriq belongs to a new class of medicine called checkpoint inhibitors that work by letting the immune system loose on the cancer cell. It is the fourth drug of its kind.

The impact which this drug may have on its consumer, however, remains unclear. The drug was passed as F.D.A found the data provided by Roche to be compelling with the urgency of the treatment.

According to the New York Times, Gene Zawatski, a retired Pennsylvania state police officer with bladder cancer, said the chemotherapy he got every Thursday after having his bladder removed kept the disease in check but knocked him out. "By Saturday I was bedridden," he said. "I couldn't get off the couch until Monday or Tuesday."

"I feel normal," said Zawatski, whose brother died of bladder cancer.

"Well, as normal as a 77-year-old man would feel," said Zawatski in the same New York Times post.

After being acquired by the American biotech company Genentech, Switzerland-based Roche, has become the leading supplier of cancer drugs. Genentech developed the successful medicines - Rituxan, Herceptin and Avastin.

Immune system drugs can fight bladder cancer well, as the tumors tend to get mutated quickly. This alerts the immune system of the presense of the disease, and it comes to action.

"Over your lifetime, it's a place where toxins and chemicals can accumulate," said Dr Dan Chen, head of product development for cancer immunotherapy at Genentech according to Healthy Tips.

The expected case of bladder cancer has reached about 77,000 in the United States alone, resulting in 16,000 deaths, according to American Cancer Society.

Among the cases, three-quarter come from men alone which makes bladder cancer the fourth most common kind of cancer found in men. Bladder cancer is treated with chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery; however, these means aren't much effective once the cancer advances.

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