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Phase II Results Support Inclusion of Checkpoint Inhibitors in Bladder Cancer Treatment Guidelines

The checkpoint inhibitors nivolumab and atezolizumab are slated to be added to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) bladder cancer treatment guidelines. Both will be designated as second-line therapies after recent phase II trials revealed favorable treatment results for each drug. These findings also indicate that additional phase III trials are needed to further establish the treatment efficacy of these drugs.

Additionally, pembrolizumab may also be included in the NCCN guidelines as a treatment option for bladder cancer after a phase III trial reported better overall survival when compared to treatment with chemotherapy.


Susman E. NCCN: Checkpoint Inhibitors an Option for Bladder Cancer. MedPage Today website. March 27, 2017. Accessed April 09, 2017.

Sharma P, Retz M, Siefker-Radtke A, et al. Nivolumab in metastatic urothelial carcinoma after platinum therapy (CheckMate 275): a multicentre, single-arm, phase 2 trial. Lancet Oncol. 2017;18:312-322. Epub 2017 Jan 26.

Balar AV, Galsky MD, Rosenberg JE, et al. Atezolizumab as first-line treatment in cisplatin-ineligible patients with locally advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinoma: a single-arm, multicentre, phase 2 trial. Lancet. 2017;389:67-76. Epub 2016 Dec 8.