Systemic anticancer therapy for urothelial carcinoma: UK oncologists’ perspective

Jones, Robert J., Crabb, Simon J., Linch, Mark, Birtle, Alison J., McGrane, John, Enting, Deborah, Stevenson, Robert, Liu, Kin, Kularatne, Bihani et al (2024) Systemic anticancer therapy for urothelial carcinoma: UK oncologists’ perspective. British Journal of Cancer . ISSN 0007-0920

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Urothelial carcinoma (UC) is a common cancer associated with a poor prognosis in patients with advanced disease. Platinum-based chemotherapy has remained the cornerstone of systemic anticancer treatment for many years, and recent developments in the treatment landscape have improved outcomes. In this review, we provide an overview of systemic treatment for UC, including clinical data supporting the current standard of care at each point in the treatment pathway and author interpretations from a UK perspective. Neoadjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy is recommended for eligible patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer and is preferable to adjuvant treatment. For first-line treatment of advanced UC, platinum-eligible patients should receive cisplatin- or carboplatin-based chemotherapy, followed by avelumab maintenance in those without disease progression. Among patients unable to receive platinum-based chemotherapy, immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment is an option for those with programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1)–positive tumours. Second-line or later treatment options depend on prior treatment, and enfortumab vedotin is preferred after prior ICI and chemotherapy, although availability varies between countries. Additional options include rechallenge with platinum-based chemotherapy, an ICI, or non–platinum-based chemotherapy. Areas of uncertainty include the optimal number of first-line chemotherapy cycles for advanced UC and the value of PD-L1 testing for UC.

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