Clinical Perspectives


Neoadjuvant Therapy Proves Effective in Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

August 24, 2021

Bladder Cancer Florida

To many people, the word "cancer" can be frightening. This was the case for Erma Wilson Muldrow who had been experiencing frequent urination, a condition that was not only getting worse but was soon accompanied by other symptoms such as stomach pain.

A urine specimen test by her primary care provider found that there was blood in her urine. She was referred to a local urologist for a scope and biopsy which confirmed Erma had bladder cancer. 

Bladder cancer is the result of cells in the bladder changing and growing rapidly and uncontrollably. The mass that forms as a result of these cellular changes, called a tumor, can be harmless (benign), which means it is not likely to spread to other parts of the body. However, some tumors are deemed likely to spread (malignant) and cause significant health issues if left untreated.

Dr. Roger Li
Dr. Roger Li

Erma was referred to Moffitt where she was enrolled in a phase 1 study of CG0070 combined with Nivolumab in cisplatin ineligible patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer (MIBC), MCC 20575.  This is a six-week treatment followed by optional TURBT before proceeding to radical cystectomy.

"This treatment is for patients who had previous experience with chemotherapy and were all very pleased with the lack of toxicity. There are no delays to surgical treatment seen, thus far," said Dr.  Roger Li, a principal investigator of the study and urologist at Moffitt Cancer Center. "This trial is a good option for patients who are ineligible for chemotherapy due to various comorbidities such as, renal insufficiency, hearing loss, peripheral neuropathy, heart failure, poor performance status or for those who refuse chemotherapy." 

Erma is doing well and is ready to celebrate her one-year anniversary of remission. She credits her recovery to the wonderful team of providers at Moffitt.

"Dr. Sexton, Dr. Li and Dr. Jain were kind and caring," said Erma. "I can see that they care and respect their patients."

Erma, a bladder cancer patient, and her daughters

Erma, center, surrounded by her daughters, says she credits her recovery to her Moffitt team. 

If you’d like to refer a patient to Moffitt Cancer Center, complete our online form or contact a physician liaison for assistance. As part of our efforts to shorten referral times as much as possible, online referrals are typically responded to within 24 - 48 hours.