Adstiladrin is currently in clinical development for the treatment of patients with high-grade non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). It is being developed particularly for NMIBC that is not responsive to Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) therapy, the current main treatment option for early bladder cancer. Bladder cancer starts in the inner lining of the bladder and the most common symptom is passing blood in urine. NMIBC is an early bladder cancer and is the most common type. High-grade NMIBC means the cancer is more likely to grow and spread quickly and also more likely to come back after initial treatment.
Adstiladrin is given by catheter directly into the bladder. It consists of a type of virus that is able to introduce a gene into cells of the bladder. This gene then stimulates the cells of the bladder to produce high quantities of a protein that the body uses to fight cancer. This in turn enhances the body’s natural defences against the cancer. If licensed, Adstiladrin will offer an advanced (gene) therapy treatment option for patients with high-grade NMIBC that are BCG unresponsive.
Nivolumab works by improving the activity of white blood cells thereby increasing the ability of the immune system to kill cancer cells. Cabozantinib works to stop signals that cancer cells use to divide and grow. It is thought that when used in combination, both drugs may be more effective than each drug on its own. If licenced, nivolumab in combination with cabozantinib may improve long-term outcomes in mRCC patients who currently have limited treatment options.