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Is There Synergism When Combining Antibody Drug Conjugates and Immune-Oncology Agents for Urothelial Carcinoma?

Evan Y. Yu
November 30, 2022

Patients with urothelial bladder cancer now have many efficacious treatment options, spanning many unique mechanisms of action.  The immune-oncology agents in urothelial carcinoma have had significant success with current regulatory approvals in various disease states for pembrolizumab, nivolumab, atezolizumab, and avelumab.  Likewise, antibody drug conjugates are monoclonal antibodies specific for a tumor antigen, connected by a linker molecule to a cytotoxic drug payload, offering selective intensification of therapy.  Direction of increased drug concentration to the target cancer cell with minimal collateral damage to healthy tissue is a purported advantage of these antibody drug conjugates.  Yet, there is now some discussion surrounding whether increased specificity of targeting is ideal or whether it may be advantageous to have a more cleavable linker that could allow for greater bystander effect against cancer cells that may lack target antigen expression.1


Dr. Evan Yu, MD

Evan Yu, MD

Evan Yu, a medical oncologist, treats prostate, bladder, and testicular cancer, and is passionate about providing a personalized medical approach to a selection of novel therapies as well as understanding biologic mechanism of drug sensitivity and resistance.

Clinical Expertise

Medical Oncology, Translational Research, Novel molecular targeted agents, Biomarkers, Imaging (PET scans, MRI), Bone health.

  • Professor, Department of Medicine, Division of Oncology, University of Washington School of Medicine
  • Member, Clinical Research Division, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
  • Clinical Research Director, Genitourinary Oncology, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance
  • Medical Director, Clinical Research Service, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Consortium
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