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Memphis man shares how bladder cancer clinical trial saved his life

Published: May. 19, 2022 at 1:15 PM CDT

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Clinical trials are needed across cancer types, including bladder cancer.

“Bladder cancer is one of those cancers that you don’t really know about,” Dr. Sam Chang said, Urologic Surgery Chief Surgical Officer at Vanderbilt Ingram Cancer Center. “People don’t talk about it much, but it is in fact one of the most common cancers that affect men and a small percentage of women. And importantly, we have hundreds of thousands of people in the U.S. with bladder cancer.”

New therapies could help save or extend tens of thousands of lives, one of which is being conducted by Dr. Chang.

Dr. Chang is the clinical investigator of ImmunityBio’s bladder cancer clinical trial, QUILT 3.032.

He shared more about the clinical trial with Action News 5′s Andrew Douglas at the digital desk.

“This clinical trial looked at a new medication that is actually instilled, it’s placed in the bladder, [and] avoids any of the side effects from chemotherapy, or surgery, or radiation,” Dr. Chang said. “It stimulates the body’s immune system to actually fight and attack cancer cells.”

In fact, the clinic trial is why former Memphis Dentist Irv Cherny says he is still here today.

“I went through 2 clinical trials that were not successful and finally the third on has been a tremendous success,” Cherny said. “Just don’t give up. Look for other alternatives.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Chang said now they are hoping to FDA approval.

“Every important finding over the past century is really dependent on some type of clinical trial and it’s the only way we can really advance, not only therapies, but diagnostic tests,” Dr. Chang said. “What’s the best way to screen for cancer? What’s the best to avoid side effects from cancer? What’s the best way to avoid get cancer based upon clinical trials? So, we are indebted to every one of our patients who are willing to provide extra information.”

Watch the full interview in the video player above.

Click here to search clinical trial database.

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