Combining chemotherapy and immune checkpoint blockade

Ana Collazo-Lorduy, Matthew D. Galsky

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Purpose of review Immune checkpoint blockade results in durable responses in a subset of patients with advanced urologic tumors. However, the majority of patients do not respond to single agent therapy raising the hypothesis that combination regimens may extend the benefits of immune checkpoint blockade to an even broader patient population. Preclinical data support combining immunotherapy with various classes of anticancer agents including standard cytotoxic chemotherapy. Herein, we provide an overview of the preclinical and clinical efforts to combine chemotherapy with immunotherapeutic approaches focusing on immune checkpoint blockade. Recent findings Immune checkpoint blockade has achieved regulatory approval for the treatment of renal cancer and urothelial cancer. Preclinical and clinical studies have begun to explore these immunotherapeutic approaches in combination with cytotoxic chemotherapy though clinical proof-of-concept has not yet been fully established. Summary There are several arguments in favor, and against, combining immunotherapeutic approaches with standard cytotoxic chemotherapy. Ultimately, clinical trials carefully considering the particular drugs, doses, and schedules will be needed to determine if such approaches become part of our standard treatment armamentarium.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)508-513
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent Opinion in Urology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2016


  • Chemotherapy
  • Combination
  • Immune checkpoint blockade
  • Immunotherapy


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