Memorial Sloan Kettering experts discuss what you should know about clinical trials.
You may be offered the opportunity to take part in a clinical trial at some point during your treatment for bladder cancer. Clinical trials are research studies that test new treatments to see how well they work. Sometimes we use clinical trials to compare diagnostic tests, prevention strategies, or other aspects of care. In some cases, a study may give you access to new therapies that are not yet readily available.
We only conduct trials that we believe may improve some aspect of treatment and outcomes. You should always discuss the pros and cons of participating in a clinical trial with your doctor.
One of the most important goals we have is to develop new and improved treatments for people with bladder cancer. For example, MSK led the way in the recent development of immunotherapy drugs for advanced bladder cancer. Our patients were among the first to receive atezolizumab (Tencentriq®) as part of a clinical trial. Based on the data from that trial, in 2016 atezolizumab became the first new drug approved for bladder cancer by the Food and Drug Administration in more than 20 years. Our researchers and doctors also led the studies that led to the approval of pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) for bladder cancer in 2017.