Immuno-oncological therapeutic options in high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

Bladder Cancer

Kramer MW and Gakis G. Urologe A 2020 - Review.


High-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (HR NMIBC) is an immunological malignancy. The standard therapy for HR NMIBC is based on transurethral bladder tumor resection with adjuvant Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) instillation therapy. To prevent progression in case of BCG-refractory disease, early radical cystectomy is considered the therapy of choice according to the German S3 guidelines. With the advent of checkpoint inhibitors for the treatment of metastatic urological malignancies, a

novel option for bladder preservation has been introduced for the treatment of HR NMIBC. The currently available data do not allow a meaningful conclusion on the long-term efficacy of PD-(L)1 (programmed cell death [ligand] 1) inhibitors due to the relatively short duration of oncological follow-up. Yet, it can be expected that checkpoint inhibitors will change the treatment algorithm of HR NMIBC in the next few years. Promising studies have been initiated to test the combination of local and systemic immunomodulation in terms of response and toxicity.