How Immunotherapy Offered a New Lease on Life

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Photo of Hope Hughes

“I was one of those people who never gets sick,” she remembers.

But one day in the spring of 2017, Hope Hughes noticed a spot of blood in her urine. The busy 64-year-old, who worked as a management consulting executive in Manhattan, mentioned it two weeks later during a routine checkup with her OB-GYN, who ordered an ultrasound. The radiologist, looking over the ultrasound images, noticed something suspicious: a mass in Hughes’s bladder.

Hughes’s primary care physician, a graduate of Weill Cornell Medicine, referred her to the Sandra and Edward Meyer Cancer Center at Weill Cornell Medicine. There, CT scans and other tests confirmed stage 3 bladder cancer, including some spread to local lymph nodes. With the traditional treatment, surgery plus chemotherapy, the five-year survival rate for bladder cancer this advanced was well below 50 percent.

Read more about how immunotherapy offered Hughes a new lease on life in Weill Cornell Medicine's magazine, IMPACT.