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Managing Adverse Events Associated With Immunotherapy in Bladder Cancer

Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD
Published Online:7:37 PM, Fri January 11, 2019

Joaquim Bellmunt, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine, Harvard Medical School, director, Bladder Cancer Center, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, shares his recommendation for how to manage the side effects of immunotherapy as a monotherapy, particularly PD-1/PD-L1 agents, in patients with bladder cancer.

Bellmunt emphasizes that the side effects do not always appear right away in this patient population. If a side effect is not recognized early enough, it can become life threatening for a patient.

Physicians should be aware of the side effects that can occur and know that it can happen to any patient, Bellmunt says. There are currently no predictive biomarkers for discovering which patients will develop side effects. However, if caught early enough, physicians can stop treatment, implement steroids, and shut down the side effect before it becomes a bigger issue for the patient.
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