For patients with a durable complete remission, doctors could eventually "cure" 70 to 80 percent of testicular cancer patients. Urologists had more varied success with other cancers. Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center's Alan Yagoda led the research in the 1970s and 1980s to develop a combination therapy-methotrexate vinblastine, Adriamycin and cisplastin (MVAC)—that would result in two-thirds of bladder cancer patients achieving remission. Other scientists confirmed that MVAC could shrink bladder cancer, permitting surgical or radiological interventions. This treatment plan generally produced short-term results, since only 10 percent of bladder cancer patients were disease-free after five years.
During the 1980-90s, less-toxic but equally effective drugs were studied. For testicular cancer, etoposide replaced vinblastine. Based on work at Indiana University and Memorial Sloan-Kettering, the regimen prescribed most often for testicular cancer today is etoposide and cisplatin with or without bleomycin. For bladder cancer, gemcitabine + cisplatin was shown to be as effective as MVAC. Androgen-blocking Casodex and flutamide are now keystones in alleviating the symptoms of metastatic prostate cancer, and chemotherapeutic combinations are showing early promise in hormone-resistant disease.