Pembrolizumab, in addition to chemotherapy, is in clinical development for adults with urothelial cancer that is advanced or metastatic. Urothelial cancer occurs on the lining of the bladder and other parts of the urinary system. In advanced urothelial cancer, the cancer has grown into deeper layers including connective tissue or muscle. In metastatic urothelial cancer, the cancer has spread to other parts of the body, such as the liver or bones. Urothelial cancer usually occurs in patients aged 60 years and older, and many patients have other medical conditions, or are not fit enough to be given certain treatments.
Pembrolizumab is a drug administered by intravenous infusion which stimulates the body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. If licensed, pembrolizumab in addition to chemotherapy could provide an additional or alternative treatment option to patients who currently have limited treatment options.
Nivolumab is a type of immunotherapy that is currently licensed in the UK for the treatment of several types of advanced cancers such as melanoma, non‐small cell lung cancer, and kidney cancer. It blocks a protein called programmed death-1 (PD-1), which is found on the surface of a type of immune cells called T-cells. Blocking PD-1 stimulates the T-cells to kill the cancer cells. Temozolomide in combination with radiotherapy is currently licensed in the UK for newly diagnosed glioblastoma in adults. The addition of nivolumab to temozolomide and radiotherapy will potentially offer an additional first line treatment option for adult patients who are newly diagnosed MGMT-methylated glioblastoma.