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Advances in Bladder and Kidney Cancers

Advances in Bladder and Kidney Cancers

About the Lecture

In 2017, there were more than 79,000 new cases of bladder cancer in the US and 16,870 deaths. The overwhelming majority of all deaths are found among those who present with more advanced disease. The first line standard therapy for patients with advanced cancer up until recently was chemotherapy. However, the response rate was low, and the 5-year survival was 5%. The treatment landscape is changing with the approval of novel immunotherapy drugs. Dr. Drakaki will be discussing how these drugs will be incorporated into current practice and how she envisions a once-terminal disease transformed into chronic one. Even among those with localized disease, 50–70% develop a recurrence, requiring repeated surgeries. Dr. Chamie is a urologist at UCLA. He performs endoscopic, open and robotic surgery. He will discuss clinical trials and treatment options for patients with localized bladder cancer.

In 2017, there were 64,000 new cases of kidney cancer in the US, with more than 25% presenting with metastatic disease. Prior to 2005, cytokines were the standard of care. We now have 8 drugs that have been approved by the FDA. Dr. Drakaki will describe how these drugs could be used and prioritized in order to improve survival. She will also discuss novel immunotherapeutic drugs currently in clinical trials. Dr. Pantuck, a urologist at UCLA, will discuss kidney-sparing options for patients with localized kidney cancer and how patients with small tumors should be followed and save them from unnecessary procedures.


Alexandra DrakakiAlexandra Drakaki is an MD, PhD and board certified Oncologist/Hematologist. She received her training in Internal Medicine at a Tuft’s University affiliate program while she completed her hematology/oncology training at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School and her research fellowship at Dana Farber Cancer Center Harvard Medical School in Boston. She specializes in genitourinary cancers and specifically cancers of the bladder, testis, urethra, prostate, and kidney. She is the Primary Investigator in several ongoing clinical trials that are testing novel drugs in the field. Her research interest is studying the role of a novel class of genes, named non-coding RNAs, including microRNAs and linkRNAs in genitourinary malignancies. Furthermore, she is part of the Translational Oncology Research Laboratory at UCLA in which researchers are working on drug development by using novel technologies for breakthrough discoveries.

Karim ChamieKarim Chamie, MD, MSHS, is the Director of the Bladder Cancer Program at the IUO and is an Assistant Professor-in-Residence of Urology at UCLA. He attended Medical School at USC and completed Urological training at UC Davis. Dr. Chamie then completed a SUO certified fellowship in Urologic Oncology at UCLA. He has numerous clinical trials for patients with localized bladder cancer His primary research interests are health services research and clinical trials in bladder cancer. His clinical interests include all areas of urologic oncology, with a particular emphasis on bladder cancer and robotic surgery.

Allan PantuckAllan Pantuck MD, MS, is the Director of the Kidney Cancer Program at the IUO and a Professor in the Department of Urology.  Dr. Pantuck attended Columbia University before going to Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. After his urology residency in New Jersey, Pantuck arrived at UCLA.  Dr. Pantuck is the only urologist in the country to hold a master’s degree in clinical research, and he bridges the gap between the basic research in the laboratories and the clinical research that involves patients. “To improve human health, basic scientific discoveries must be translated into everyday applications,” Pantuck said. “Such discoveries begin at ‘the bench’ with laboratory research—in which scientists study disease at a molecular or cellular level—then progress to the clinical level, or the patient’s ‘bedside.’” Dr. Allan Pantuck’s research programs focus on gene and immune therapies for GU cancer, molecular and genomic characterization of kidney cancer, and nutritional chemoprevention of prostate cancer. Dr. Pantuck’s research is currently funded by the National Institutes of Health, Department of Defense and the National Science Foundation.

Event Information

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

6:45 – 7:00: Arrival & Refreshments
7:00 – 7:15: Anne Coscarelli, PhD, Introduction to Center
7:15 – 7:20: Anne Coscarelli, PhD, Speaker Introduction
7:20 – 8:55: Speaker Presentation, Q&A
8:55 – 9:00: Closing

Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center (RRMC) Auditorium,
B Level, Room B130, 757 Westwood Plaza, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Attendance is Free.

Available at the Medical Plaza or Ronald Reagan Medical Center lots for $12.00

Contact us for more information or book an appointment