Immune Therapies in Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Philip L. Ho, Stephen B. Williams, Ashish M. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) continues to be a challenging disease to manage. Treatment involves transurethral resection and, often, intravesical therapy. Appropriate patient selection, accurate staging, and morphological characterization are vital in risk-stratifying patients to those who would most benefit from receiving intravesical therapy. Bacillus of Calmette and Guérin (BCG) continues to be the first-line agent of choice for patients with intermediate- and high-risk NMIBC. Treatment should begin with the standard induction course of 6 weekly treatments. The inclusion of subsequent maintenance courses of BCG is imperative to optimal therapeutic response. While patients with intermediate-risk disease should receive 1 year of maintenance therapy, high-risk patients benefit from up to 3 years of maintenance therapy. BCG use should not be used in low-risk patients with de novo Ta, low-grade, solitary, <3-cm tumors. Conversely, patients with muscle-invasive disease should forgo intravesical immunotherapy and proceed directly to radical cystectomy. Cystectomy also should be considered in patients with multiple T1 tumors, T1 tumors located in difficult to resect locations, residual T1 on re-resection, and T1 with concomitant CIS. Although promising new immunotherapeutic agents, such as Urocidin, protein-based vaccines, and immune check point inhibitors are undergoing preclinical and clinical investigation, immunotherapy in bladder cancer remains largely reliant on intravesical BCG with surgical consolidation as the standard salvage treatment for patients with BCG failure.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalCurrent treatment options in oncology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2015
Externally publishedYes


  • BCG
  • Bladder Cancer
  • Immune Therapy
  • Immunology
  • Non Invasive
  • Treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Immune Therapies in Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this