Affiliation: Department of Urology, Ruijin Hospital, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai, China.
The treatment of advanced urothelial cancer of the bladder has evolved substantially during recent years. Chemotherapy has been the mainstay of treatment and confers survival advantage. Despite such advances, the chemotherapy of bladder cancer is far from satisfactory due to severe side effects. Targeted therapy with novel drugs directed at specific molecular pathways opens promising new avenues to improve patient outcome. A systematic review examined the clinical data for novel targeted agents in 10 phase II trials, with a focus on bevacizumab, aflibercept, sunitinib, sorafenib, gefitinib, lapatinib and trastuzumab. Besides, we present studies on other novel, promising targeted agents, including pazopanib, cetuximab and everolimus. Although bevacizumab and trastuzumab have shown promising results for patients with advanced bladder cancer, other targeted agents have not achieved the same clinical benefit in this disease as seen in other common epithelial cancers. Ultimately, combination targeted therapy, sequential therapy, adjuvant and neoadjuvant therapy may yield the best outcomes.