Emerging drugs for urothelial carcinoma

Benjamin A. Gartrell, Guru Sonpavde

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Introduction: Advanced urothelial carcinoma is associated with a poor prognosis. In the metastatic setting, the response rate to first-line, cisplatin-containing chemotherapy is high, but survival is poor. Second-line treatment options are limited. Advanced age at diagnosis and the presence of comorbidities often preclude treatment with cisplatin-containing regimens. Areas covered: This review addresses the current therapy of urothelial carcinoma, the unmet needs in treatment and the status of drug development in this disease. The molecular targets identified and efforts to incorporate targeted agents into therapy will be addressed. Expert opinion: There have been no major advances in the treatment of urothelial carcinoma in three decades. Despite high response rates in the first-line setting, survival is limited. Major impediments to improved outcomes include poor durability of response to first-line chemotherapy and lack of second-line treatments. Better understanding in tumor biology has identified multiple targets in urothelial carcinoma; however, such discoveries have yet to lead to the incorporation of targeted agents into the routine treatment of urothelial carcinoma. Multiple ongoing clinical trials are investigating the use of targeted agents in urothelial carcinoma. Continued efforts are underway to better understand the molecular drivers of disease and such efforts are likely to identify additional therapeutic targets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)477-494
Number of pages18
JournalExpert Opinion on Emerging Drugs
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • Bladder cancer
  • Molecular targets
  • Targeted therapy
  • Urothelial carcinoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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