For advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinomas (UCs), platinum (preferably cisplatin)-based chemotherapy has been the standard treatment for many years. However, many patients are ineligible for cisplatin-based chemotherapy because of poor performance status and/or other age-related conditions. At the other end of the spectrum, patients with localized non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer who are unresponsive to intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) treatment often face radical cystectomy as the only option. In recent years, the application of immunotherapy in the form of immune-checkpoint inhibitors has provided viable alternatives in the second-line postplatinum and first-line cisplatin-ineligible settings. Recent and ongoing clinical trials are also assessing the safety and efficacy of immunotherapy for neoadjuvant and adjuvant uses before/after cystectomy, for BCG-unresponsive cases, and for combination treatments that include the newer indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-1 inhibitors and/or BCG. This review summarizes recent developments in immunotherapy for UCs.
Asia-Pacific journal of clinical oncology. 2020 Sep [Epub]
Darren Ming-Chun Poon
Department of Clinical Oncology, State Key Laboratory of Translational Oncology, Sir YK Pao Centre for Cancer, Hong Kong Cancer Institute and Prince of Wales Hospital, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.