Immune checkpoint inhibitors for metastatic bladder cancer

Francesco Massari, Vincenzo Di Nunno, Marta Cubelli, Matteo Santoni, Michelangelo Fiorentino, Rodolfo Montironi, Liang Cheng, Anto Lopez-Beltran, Nicola Battelli, Andrea Ardizzoni

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

28 Scopus citations


Chemotherapy has represented the standard therapy for unresectable or metastatic urothelial carcinoma for more than 20 years. The growing knowledge of the interaction between tumour and immune system has led to the advent of new classes of drugs, the immune-checkpoints inhibitors, which are intended to change the current scenario. To date, immunotherapy is able to improve the overall responses and survival. Moreover, thanks to its safety profile immune-checkpoint inhibitors could be proposed also to patients unfit for standard chemotherapy. No doubts that these agents have started a revolution expected for years, but despite this encouraging results it appears clear that not all subjects respond to these agents and requiring the development of reliable predictive response factors able to isolate patients who can more benefit from these treatments as well as new strategies aimed to improve immunotherapy clinical outcome. In this review we describe the active or ongoing clinical trials involving Programmed Death Ligand 1 (PD-L1), Programmed Death receptor 1 (PD-1) and Cytotoxic-T Lymphocyte Antigen 4 (CTLA 4) inhibitors in urothelial carcinoma focusing our attention on the developing new immune-agents and combination strategies with immune-checkpoint inhibitors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)11-20
Number of pages10
JournalCancer Treatment Reviews
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Atezolizumab
  • Avelumab
  • Combination therapy
  • Durvalumab
  • Immune-checkpoint inhibitors
  • Ipilimumab
  • Nivolumab
  • Pembrolizumab
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging

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  • Cite this

    Massari, F., Di Nunno, V., Cubelli, M., Santoni, M., Fiorentino, M., Montironi, R., Cheng, L., Lopez-Beltran, A., Battelli, N., & Ardizzoni, A. (2018). Immune checkpoint inhibitors for metastatic bladder cancer. Cancer Treatment Reviews, 64, 11-20.