Integration of Immunotherapy Into the Treatment of Advanced Urothelial Carcinoma

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  • a Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
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Five new PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint inhibitors have been approved for the treatment of metastatic urothelial carcinoma (UC): pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, durvalumab, nivolumab, and avelumab. Although cisplatin-based chemotherapy remains the recommended frontline option for cisplatin-eligible patients with metastatic UC, immunotherapy is now an available option in the second-line setting as well as the frontline setting for selected cisplatin-ineligible patients who are either unable to tolerate chemotherapy or PD-L1–positive. This review describes the updated clinical efficacy of these checkpoint inhibitors in the treatment of advanced UC and suggests how they can be sequenced in the context of available chemotherapeutic options.

Submitted November 18, 2019; accepted for publication January 21, 2020.

Disclosures: Dr. Ghatalia has disclosed that she has no financial interests, arrangements, or affiliations with the manufacturers of any products discussed in this article or their competitors. Dr. Plimack has disclosed that receives grant/research support from Astellas Pharma US, Inc., AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Genentech, Inc., Infinity Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., Peloton Therapeutics, Inc., and Pfizer Inc.; and that she is a scientific advisor for or receives consultant fees from Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, Flatiron Health, Inc., Genentech, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., and Seattle Genetics, Inc.

Correspondence: Elizabeth R. Plimack, MD, Department of Medical Oncology, Fox Chase Cancer Center, 333 Cottman Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19111. Email: elizabeth.plimack@fccc.edu
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