Induction therapy with ipilimumab and nivolumab followed by consolidative chemoradiation as organ-sparing treatment in urothelial bladder cancer: study protocol of the INDIBLADE trial.



The INDIBLADE trial was registered on on January 21, 2022 (NCT05200988).


This is the first trial in which the efficacy of induction combination ICB followed by chemoradiation is being evaluated to provide bladder-preservation in patients with (locally advanced) urothelial bladder cancer.


The INDIBLADE trial is an investigator-initiated, single-arm, multicenter phase 2 trial. Fifty patients with cT2-4aN0-2M0 urothelial bladder cancer will be treated with ipilimumab 3 mg/kg on day 1, ipilimumab 3 mg/kg plus nivolumab 1 mg/kg on day 22, and nivolumab 3 mg/kg on day 43 followed by chemoradiation. The primary endpoint is the bladder-intact event-free survival (BI-EFS). Events include: local or distant recurrence, salvage cystectomy, death and switch to platinum-based chemotherapy. We will also evaluate the potential of multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging of the bladder to identify non-responders, and we will assess the clearance of circulating tumor DNA as a biomarker for ICB treatment response.


Studies that assessed the efficacy of pre-operative immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) in locally advanced urothelial cancer of the bladder showed encouraging pathological complete response rates, suggesting that a bladder-sparing approach may be a viable option in a subset of patients. Chemoradiation is an alternative for radical cystectomy with similar oncological outcomes, but is still mainly used in selected patients with organ-confined tumors or patients ineligible to undergo radical cystectomy. We propose to sequentially administer ICB and chemoradiation to patients with (locally advanced) muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

More about this publication

Frontiers in oncology
  • Volume 13
  • Pages 1246603
  • Publication date 15-09-2023

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