Immunotherapy in genitourinary malignancies

Curr Opin Urol. 2016 Nov;26(6):501-7. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0000000000000331.


Purpose of review: Active investigation suggests immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and therapeutic cancer vaccines provide clinical benefit for genitourinary malignancies including prostate cancer, renal cell carcinoma, and bladder cancer. Recent developments in the utility of immune checkpoint inhibitor and vaccine therapy for the management of genitourinary malignancies are highlighted in this review.

Recent findings: Dramatic responses to checkpoint inhibitor therapy have been demonstrated in renal cell carcinoma and bladder cancer with recent Food and Drug Administration approvals in both indications. No benefit to checkpoint inhibitor therapy has yet been shown for the management of prostate cancer. Therapeutic cancer vaccines have also shown benefit in the treatment of genitourinary malignancies, specifically in the treatment of prostate cancer. Despite advances in these therapeutic modalities, benefit is limited to a subset of patients.

Summary: Current evidence supports the use of immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy and therapeutic cancer vaccines for the management of genitourinary malignancies. Further development of biomarkers for predicting response and study of combination therapy is required to achieve optimal efficacy with these therapeutic interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cancer Vaccines / therapeutic use*
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / immunology
  • Carcinoma, Renal Cell / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / trends*
  • Male
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / immunology
  • Prostatic Neoplasms / therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / immunology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / immunology
  • Urogenital Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Cancer Vaccines