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 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.


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.


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.


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

More about this publication

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

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