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Johns Hopkins Awarded $3.2 Million NIH Grant for Early-Stage Bladder Cancer Research


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Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, the Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute, the Bloomberg-Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, the Brady Urological Institute, and the Center for Computational Genomics at Johns Hopkins have received a $3.2 million grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to study new treatment options for early-stage bladder cancer.

Noah Hahn, MD

Noah Hahn, MD

The new grant will support efforts by Johns Hopkins physician-scientists to participate in a novel multidisciplinary clinical trial for this cancer, called ADAPT-BLADDER, for its ability to accommodate changes during the trial that optimize and accelerate tests of promising treatments. With initial plans to study anti–PD-L1 (programmed cell death ligand 1)–directed immunotherapy with the monoclonal antibody durvalumab in combination with bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and radiation, the ADAPT-BLADDER (ClinicalTrials.gov identifier NCT03317158) trial is the first systemic immunotherapy trial to involve all three modalities.

The Johns Hopkins study is also believed to be the only trial among non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer trials combining BCG with a shortened, 6-month course of systemic immunotherapy, according to Noah Hahn, MD, Associate Professor of Oncology and Urology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; Deputy Director of the Greenberg Bladder Cancer Institute; and Principal Investigator of the study.

Overall, the NIH-funded ADAPT-BLADDER project is designed with several arms and phases, starting with the investigation of durvalumab combination treatments. However, it is expandable to include other drugs and combinations at a future date without having to start a new trial. 


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