Immunologic checkpoints blockade in renal cell, prostate, and urothelial malignancies

Semin Oncol. 2015 Jun;42(3):495-505. doi: 10.1053/j.seminoncol.2015.02.004. Epub 2015 Feb 12.


Genitourinary (GU) tumors, and in particular renal cell and prostate cancer, represent one of the most dynamic areas in oncology from the scientific point of view. One of the most recent treatment approaches for GU tumors has focused on a series of molecules known as immune checkpoints and the possibility of manipulating immune responses against tumor cells by blocking these molecules with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4), and the immune checkpoint inhibitor mAbs ipilimumab and tremelimumab, represent the prototypes of this new growing class of agents called immunomodulating antibodies, while programmed death/ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) also has garnered a significant interest as a new immune checkpoints to target in urothelial cancer, with the anti-PD-1/PD-L1 inhibitor mAbs nivolumab, MPDL-3280, and BMS-936559 as the first agents tested. Here we report the encouraging initial data observed in GU cancers with this new class of agents, which have reinforced the interest of investigating the therapeutic potential of the immune checkpoint modulators in large controlled trials.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / pharmacology
  • Antibodies, Monoclonal / therapeutic use*
  • Antineoplastic Agents / pharmacology
  • Antineoplastic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / drug therapy
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / immunology
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunologic Factors / pharmacology
  • Immunologic Factors / therapeutic use*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Kidney Neoplasms / immunology
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / immunology


  • Antibodies, Monoclonal
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Immunologic Factors