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Combination Immunotherapy May Be Viable Bladder Cancer Treatment Option

Newly approved combination immunotherapy treatments show promise for treating progressive bladder cancer. Early results from phase 1 and 2 trials show that combination treatment with cabozantinib, nivolumab, and ipilimumab was well-tolerated, safe, and showed high activity in 30% of treated patients. Furthermore, a sub-group of patients demonstrated an encouraging response rate of 44% when treated with dual cabozantinib and nivolumab therapy alone. In addition to this, avelumab is currently undergoing a phase 3 trial in metastatic bladder cancer patients who previously responded to chemotherapy.


Welch A. Apolo Discusses Promising Immunotherapy Combos in Bladder Cancer. Oncology website. Published 6 March 2017.

Apolo A, Mortazavi A, Stein MN, et al. A phase I study of cabozantinib plus nivolumab (CaboNivo) and ipilimumab (CaboNivoIpi) in patients (pts) with refractory metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) and other genitourinary (GU) tumors. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35 (suppl 6S; abstract 293).

Patel MR, Ellerton JA, Infante JR, et al. Avelumab in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma: Pooled results from two cohorts of the phase 1b JAVELIN Solid Tumor trial. J Clin Oncol. 2017;35 (suppl 6S; abstract 330).