Recent developments in perioperative combination therapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer.



A summary of recent literature to provide a comprehensive overview of the current state of systemic perioperative treatment combinations for muscle-invasive bladder cancer (MIBC).


Six cycles of neoadjuvant dose-dense MVAC are superior to four cycles of gemcitabine/cisplatin. Adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy is a viable option for patients with high-risk tumours who did not receive prior neoadjuvant treatment. The added value of anti-PD-(L)1 to chemotherapy still needs to be established. Novel developments in immunotherapy combinations, while promising, are still in an early stage and randomized studies are ongoing.


We discuss recent developments in standard and experimental treatment modalities. The VESPER trial has shown that six cycles of neoadjuvant dose-dense MVAC are superior to four cycles of gemcitabine/cisplatin (GC), though it is unclear whether the superiority is derived from the specific regimen or number of cycles. Adjuvant cisplatin-based chemotherapy, a subject of longstanding debate, was shown to have comparable overall survival-benefit to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in an updated meta-analysis. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy and anti-PD-(L)1 show encouraging results, but with no comparative studies to standard care, context is lacking. Immunotherapeutic neoadjuvant anti-CTLA-4/PD-(L)1 combinations or combinations of checkpoint inhibitors with antibody-drug-conjugates are in early stages of development and show promising preliminary results.

More about this publication

Current opinion in urology
  • Volume 33
  • Issue nr. 5
  • Pages 404-411
  • Publication date 01-09-2023

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