Perioperative and Maintenance Therapy After First-Line Therapy as Paradigms for Drug Discovery in Urothelial Carcinoma.
ABSTRACT: Perioperative chemotherapy provided to increase the chance of cure for localized disease and maintenance therapy for metastatic disease represent 2 distinct aspects of the urothelial cancer disease treatment spectrum. The ability to access both pre- and postchemotherapy tissue in the neoadjuvant setting provides important opportunities for translational research to test novel therapies and identify predictors of response to therapy. The maintenance setting may be more complex, and study design and endpoints need to be determined on the basis of the candidate drugs' mechanisms of action and toxicity.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC) historically is treated with first-line platinum-based combination chemotherapy, preferably cisplatin plus gemcitabine whenever possible. In recent years, multiple classes of targeted therapy have demonstrated benefit, with some receiving approval in mUC. This review will summarize phase III efficacy and safety data for targeted agents, principally immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), as either first-line or first-line switch-maintenance therapy for mUC and interpret these findings in the context of the current treatment landscape.<h4>Materials and methods</h4>Published and presented phase III data on targeted therapy for the first-line or first-line switch-maintenance treatment of mUC were identified using the key search terms "targeted therapy" AND "urothelial carcinoma" AND "advanced" OR respective aliases according to the guidelines for Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA).<h4>Results</h4>Of the six eligible phase III targeted therapy trials, two assessing ICIs met their primary endpoints in platinum-eligible patients. First-line ICI plus chemotherapy combinations have not improved overall survival (OS), although final OS results of the IMVigor 130 trial are pending. Switch-maintenance using an ICI in patients achieving at least stable disease following platinum-based chemotherapy statistically significantly improved OS (21.4 vs. 14.3 months, hazard ratio, 0.69; 95% confidence interval, 0.56-0.86; p = .001). Current sequencing options for mUC include first-line platinum-based chemotherapy with a switch to ICI either immediately or upon disease progression.<h4>Conclusion</h4>Recent targeted therapy trials have expanded ICI sequencing options for mUC. The treatment landscape is likely to evolve rapidly, with results from multiple phase III trials expected in the next 5 years.<h4>Implications for practice</h4>Multiple classes of targeted agents are approved for use in metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC). Six phase III trials have recently provided insight on the benefit of these agents in the first-line setting. In platinum-eligible patients, immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) combined with first-line platinum-based chemotherapy failed to demonstrate improved survival, although ICI monotherapy as switch-maintenance significantly improved overall survival in patients with mUC who had achieved at least stable disease following first-line platinum-based chemotherapy. In patients ineligible for any chemotherapy, pembrolizumab, atezolizumab, or pembrolizumab in combination with enfortumab vedotin may be options.
Project description:Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is a chemosensitive disease with high response rates to platinum-based combination chemotherapy in locally advanced or advanced disease. However, de novo or emergence of cisplatin-resistance limits the duration of response, patients are frequently ineligible for cisplatin, and therapies tested thus far have minimal activity as second-line therapy. The first wave of clinical trials of novel agents and targeted therapy have modestly advanced the field and laid the foundations for future studies. These trials include the deployment of monoclonal antibodies and tyrosine kinase inhibitors that target mediators of angiogenesis and growth receptors. Novel cytotoxic agents have also been tested as single-agents in the second-line setting and together with the first-line combination of gemcitabine with cisplatin. To date, these novel agents have yet to demonstrate the ability to substantially improve the overall survival of patients with bladder cancer. Comparative trials of chemotherapy with or without a novel agent are ongoing and have the potential to improve upon current standard therapy. Moreover, state-of-the-art technologies have been developed that will likely identify the molecular alterations which drive both UC and platinum-resistance and in turn provide opportunities for drug development. The latter includes an interrogation of microRNAs and the integrated study of genetic mutations in extreme phenotypes of the disease. In essence, this ongoing work paired with physician and patient commitments to clinical trial participation will ultimately lead to advances in the care of patients with urothelial cancer.
Project description:Despite a detailed understanding of the molecular aberrations driving the development of urothelial cancers, this knowledge has not translated into advances for the treatment of this disease. Urothelial cancers are chemosensitive, and platinum-based combination chemotherapy remains the standard of care for advanced disease, as well as neoadjuvant and adjuvant therapy for locally advanced disease. However, nearly half of patients who undergo resection of locally advanced urothelial cancer will relapse and eventually develop platinum-resistant disease. Clinical trials of targeted agents against angiogenesis and growth factors, as well as novel chemotheraputics, have generally been unsuccessful in urothelial cancers. Improvements in the theraputic arsenal for urothelial cancer depend upon identification of new targets and strategies to overcome platinum resistance.
Project description:Identification of reliable molecular biomarkers that can complement clinical practice represents a fascinating challenge in any cancer field. Urothelial carcinoma is a very heterogeneous disease and responses to systemic therapies, and outcomes after radical cystectomy are difficult to predict. Advances in molecular biology such as next generation sequencing and whole genome or transcriptomic analysis provide promising platforms to achieve a full understanding of the biology behind the disease and can identify emerging predictive biomarkers. Moreover, the ability to categorize patients' risk of recurrence after curative treatment, or even predict benefit from a conventional or targeted therapies, represents a compelling challenge that may reshape both selection for tailored treatment and disease monitoring. Progress has been made but currently no molecular biomarkers are used in the clinical setting to predict response to systemic agents in either neoadjuvant or adjuvant settings highlighting a relevant unmet need. Here, we aim to present the emerging role of molecular biomarkers in predicting response to systemic agents in urothelial carcinoma.
Project description:Metastatic urothelial cancer is an aggressive disease associated with a poor prognosis. In the first-line setting, platinum-based chemotherapy is the standard of care but resistance rapidly occurs. After failure of platinum-based therapy and in cisplatin-ineligible patients, therapeutic options are limited. Malignant cells evolve mechanisms to evade immune recognition, including the expression of cell-surface molecules, named immune checkpoints, on tumor and tumor-specific lymphocytes. Immunotherapy, by targeting these checkpoints, represents a new tool to improve the patient outcome in advanced urothelial carcinoma (UC). Recently, the US FDA approved, in a short time, several immune checkpoint inhibitors in metastatic UC, both after failure of platinum-based therapy and in first-line setting in cisplatin-ineligible patients. This article aims to review the place of immunotherapy in advanced UC.
Project description:Urothelial carcinoma is a common malignancy that carries a poor prognosis when the disease includes muscle invasion. Metastatic urothelial carcinoma is almost uniformly fatal. The evidence behind treatment options in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant and metastatic settings are discussed in this manuscript, with a focused review of standard and investigational cytotoxic, targeted, and immunotherapy approaches. We have focused especially on neoadjuvant cisplatin-based therapy (supported by level one evidence) and on novel immunotherapy agents such as checkpoint inhibitors, which have shown great promise in early clinical studies.
Project description:Urothelial carcinoma is one of the most common cancers in the United States, yet outcomes are historically suboptimal. Since 2016, the approval of five programmed cell death 1 and programmed death-ligand 1 immune checkpoint inhibitors for locally advanced and metastatic urothelial carcinoma has led to improved oncologic outcomes for many patients in the second-line setting. Two checkpoint inhibitors, pembrolizumab and atezolizumab subsequently earned approval for first-fine therapy with restricted indications. More recently, pembrolizumab was approved for bacillus Calmette-Guérin-unresponsive high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, opening the door for other immune checkpoint inhibitors to be integrated into treatment in earlier disease stages. Recent bacillus Calmette-Guérin shortages have highlighted the need for alternative treatment options for patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Currently, there are no FDA-approved checkpoint inhibitors for non-metastatic muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Furthermore, many patients are ineligible for standard cisplatin-based chemotherapy regimens. Numerous ongoing clinical trials are employing immune checkpoint inhibitors for muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients in the neoadjuvant, adjuvant, perioperative, and bladder-sparing setting. Although up to 10% of urothelial carcinoma tumors arise in the upper urinary tract, few studies are designed for this population. We highlight the need for more trials designed for patients with upper tract disease. Overall, there are numerous clinical trials investigating the safety and efficacy of immune checkpoint inhibitors in all stages of disease as single-agents and combined with dual-immune checkpoint inhibition, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and other pharmacologic agents. As the field continues to evolve rapidly, we aim to provide an overview of recent and ongoing immunotherapy clinical trials in urothelial carcinoma.
Project description:In this case report, we present a patient with the rare plasmacytoid variant of urothelial cancer. Notable elements of his course include: complete response to neoadjuvant paclitaxel, gemcitabine, cisplatin, development of metastatic disease to the rectum, sustained disease control with dual HER2 targeting therapy, and subsequent complete response to enfortumab vedotin. Plasmacytoid urothelial cancer accounts for just 1-3% of all urothelial cancer cases and is associated with more aggressive disease, with a propensity for intra-abdominal spread and poor response to neoadjuvant therapy. Preliminary data indicate that the variant may generally have high levels of HER2 expression. We review the history of HER2 targeting in metastatic urothelial cancer, which has included single-agent as well as combination with chemotherapy; there are ongoing biomarker-based clinical trials. Furthermore, we highlight the complete response to enfortumab vedotin. To date, this is the first report of efficacy for enfortumab vedotin in the plasmacytoid variant.
Project description:Abstract In recent years, diagnostic and therapeutic advances have contributed to a reduction in mortality rates of patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma (mUC). Immune checkpoint inhibitors have demonstrated efficacy and safety as both first-line and first-line switch maintenance therapy for mUC. For platinum-refractory patients, in addition to immunotherapy, other targeted agents (antibody–drug conjugates and fibroblast growth factor receptor inhibitors) have been approved after demonstrating a clinically relevant advantage in overall response rate, progression-free survival, and overall survival compared to standard of care. Sequential treatment strategies are finally feasible for patients with advanced urothelial carcinoma. This review will summarize the results of the most important phase II–III clinical trials for first-line, switch maintenance, second-line, and subsequent lines of therapy, and describe the most promising clinical trials currently ongoing in these treatment scenarios.
Project description:Cancer of the urothelium is the sixth most common cancer in the United States and is seen predominantly in men. Most cases of this disease present as non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), with cancer recurrence or progression to muscle-invasive cancer in more than 50% of patients after initial therapy. NMIBC is an immune-responsive disease, as indicated by the use of intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin as treatment for more than 3 decades. More recently, immunotherapy has seen much progress in a variety of cancers, including advanced and metastatic bladder cancer, in which historical 5-year survival rates are approximately 15%. The advent of T-cell checkpoint inhibitors, especially those directed at programmed death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand (PD-L1), has had a significant effect on the therapy of advanced urothelial cancer. This had led to accelerated approval by the US Food and Drug Administration for atezolizumab and nivolumab in advanced urothelial cancer previously treated with platinum-based chemotherapy. In addition, level 1 evidence supports the use of pembrolizumab over single-agent tubulin-directed chemotherapy in the same setting. Several other treatments with immune-mediating mechanisms of action are in development and hold great promise, including monoclonal antibodies directed at other checkpoint molecules, oncolytic virus therapy, adoptive T-cell therapy, combination immunotherapy, and antibody-drug conjugates. This review focuses on the recent development of T-cell checkpoint inhibitors in advanced and metastatic urothelial cancer and addresses their potential use in combination. It also discusses a spectrum of novel immunotherapies with potential use in urothelial cancer.