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Thomas Flaig, MD

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Tislelizumab Plus Chemotherapy as First-Line Adjuvant Treatment of Advanced Bladder Cancer

By: Victoria Kuhr, BA
Posted: Thursday, October 6, 2022

The combination of the monoclonal antibody tislelizumab with gemcitabine plus cisplatin chemotherapy appears to enhance antitumor activity in locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer. Additionally, Xiaoyong Zeng, PhD, of Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China, and colleagues reported this combination treatment was well tolerated. These study findings were published in BMC Urology.

“[T]he results of tislelizumab alone in the treatment of urothelial carcinoma and its combination with platinum-based chemotherapy in the treatment of other tumors could confirm and support that our research results provided valuable real-life information about the treatment and the prognosis of these patients,” said the study authors.

A retrospective analysis focused on 31 patients with locally advanced or metastatic bladder cancer from December 2020 to January 2022. Of them, 14 received tislelizumab plus 21-day cycles of chemotherapy, and 17 patients received gemcitabine plus cisplatin alone. All patients underwent bladder cytoreductive surgery and were treated for four 21-day cycles until disease progression or intolerable treatment-related adverse events occurred.

The median progression-free survival was 36 weeks with the tislelizumab combination and 29 weeks with gemcitabine/cisplatin alone. In the gemcitabine/cisplatin group, the median overall survival was 48 weeks. The median overall survival was not yet mature for the tislelizumab/chemotherapy group. Treatment with tislelizumab plus chemotherapy resulted in an improved disease control rate and clinical benefit rate compared with the gemcitabine/cisplatin group. Although the incidence of grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events was higher with tislelizumab plus chemotherapy compared with gemcitabine/cisplatin alone (35.7% vs. 23.5%), the investigators reported that the difference was not statistically significant (P = .47).

The most frequently reported grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events in the tislelizumab-plus-chemotherapy group were decreased appetite (28.6%), nausea or vomiting (28.6%), anemia (21.4%), and thyroid disorders (21.4%). The most frequently reported grade 3 or higher treatment-related adverse events in the gemcitabine/cisplatin group were nausea or vomiting (17.6%) and increased blood creatinine (17.6%).

Disclosures: The study authors reported no conflicts of interest.


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