Roche has announced that Tecentriq (atezolizumab) in combination with platinum-based therapy showed a statistically significant reduction in the risk of disease worsening or death (PFS) in people with previously untreated locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, also known as bladder cancer.

The results are in comparison to chemotherapy alone, and encouraging overall survival (OS) results were also observed. The company warns, however, that these data are not yet mature and follow-up will continue until the next planned analysis.

The Phase III IMvigor130 study met its co-primary endpoint of investigator-assessed PFS, making it the “first positive Phase III study of a cancer immunotherapy combination in previously untreated advanced bladder cancer, an aggressive disease with high unmet need,” according to Sandra Horning, chief medical officer and head of Global Product Development.

She explained that the results “support our broad clinical development programme for Tecentriq in bladder cancer, as well as our approach of combining immunotherapy with chemotherapy or other medicines to improve patient outcomes, and we look forward to discussing them with health authorities.”

Tecentriq was the first cancer immunotherapy approved in bladder cancer. Currently, there are four ongoing Phase III studies evaluating Tecentriq alone and in combination with other medicines in early and advanced bladder cancer.

In 2018, there were over half a million new cases of bladder cancer diagnosed globally, with around 200,000 deaths from the disease.