Primary chemoablation of low-grade upper tract urothelial carcinoma using UGN-101, a mitomycin-containing reverse thermal gel (OLYMPUS): an open-label, single-arm, phase 3 trial

Lancet Oncol. 2020 Jun;21(6):776-785. doi: 10.1016/S1470-2045(20)30147-9. Epub 2020 Apr 29.


Background: Most patients with low-grade upper tract urothelial cancer are treated by radical nephroureterectomy. We aimed to assess the safety and activity of a non-surgical treatment using instillation of UGN-101, a mitomycin-containing reverse thermal gel.

Methods: In this open-label, single-arm, phase 3 trial, participants were recruited from 24 academic sites in the USA and Israel. Patients (aged ≥18 years) with primary or recurrent biopsy-proven, low-grade upper tract urothelial cancer (measuring 5-15 mm in maximum diameter) and an Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group performance status score of less than 3 (Karnofsky Performance Status score >40) were registered to receive six instillations of once-weekly UGN-101 (mitomycin 4 mg per mL; dosed according to volume of patient's renal pelvis and calyces, maximum 60 mg per instillation) via retrograde catheter to the renal pelvis and calyces. All patients had a planned primary disease evaluation 4-6 weeks after the completion of initial therapy, in which the primary outcome of complete response was assessed, defined as negative 3-month ureteroscopic evaluation, negative cytology, and negative for-cause biopsy. Activity (complete response, expected to occur in >15% of patients) and safety were assessed by the investigator in all patients who received at least one dose of UGN-101. Data presented are from the data cutoff on May 22, 2019. This study is registered with, NCT02793128.

Findings: Between April 6, 2017, and Nov 26, 2018, 71 (96%) of 74 enrolled patients received at least one dose of UGN-101. 42 (59%, 95% CI 47-71; p<0·0001) patients had a complete response at the primary disease evaluation visit. The median follow-up for patients with a complete response was 11·0 months (IQR 5·1-12·4). The most frequently reported all-cause adverse events were ureteric stenosis in 31 (44%) of 71 patients, urinary tract infection in 23 (32%), haematuria in 22 (31%), flank pain in 21 (30%), and nausea in 17 (24%). 19 (27%) of 71 patients had study drug-related or procedure-related serious adverse events. No deaths were regarded as related to treatment.

Interpretation: Primary chemoablation of low-grade upper tract urothelial cancer with intracavitary UGN-101 results in clinically significant disease eradication and might offer a kidney-sparing treatment alternative for these patients.

Funding: UroGen Pharma.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial, Phase III
  • Multicenter Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / administration & dosage*
  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic / adverse effects
  • Carcinoma / drug therapy*
  • Carcinoma / pathology
  • Drug Carriers*
  • Drug Compounding
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrogels
  • Israel
  • Kidney Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Kidney Neoplasms / pathology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage*
  • Mitomycin / adverse effects
  • Neoplasm Grading
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • United States
  • Urothelium / drug effects*
  • Urothelium / pathology


  • Antibiotics, Antineoplastic
  • Drug Carriers
  • Hydrogels
  • Mitomycin

Associated data