Application of immunotherapy in bladder cancer treatment

The immune system can recognize tumors. Tumors can defend themselves by creating a protein called PD-l1. If this protein is inhibited by "checkpoint inhibitors", the tumor can still be destroyed by the immune system. If the tumor responds to this treatment, the effects will last for a long time. 

Treatment tends to be received well, although some side effects may occur in which the immune system starts targeting specific organs. The Netherlands Cancer Institute has been participating in research into this treatment type since 2014. Currently this treatment is only available as part of a trial. 

The current trials primarily aim to use the treatment at an earlier stage in the treatment, and in combination with other drugs that should increase the chance of response.