Immunotherapy for superficial bladder cancer

Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2005 May;54(5):414-23. doi: 10.1007/s00262-004-0621-x. Epub 2004 Nov 23.


The treatment of superficial bladder cancer requires adjuvant therapies besides transurethral resection because of a high recurrence rate after this standard treatment alone. Current adjuvant therapies involve intravesical chemotherapy for patients at low and intermediate risk for recurrence and progression, and intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin for patients at intermediate and high risk. However, these adjuvant therapies fail in a significant number of patients, dictating the need for new and improved adjuvant treatment modalities for superficial bladder cancer. Immunotherapy aiming at the modulation of the immune system of the patient is a promising alternative adjuvant. This review discusses the current status of the clinical development of various immunotherapy approaches for superficial bladder cancer, including passive immunotherapy, immune stimulants, immunogene therapy and cancer vaccination.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Chemotherapy, Adjuvant
  • Humans
  • Immunization, Passive*
  • Immunotherapy, Active*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*