Interim data suggest that intravesical photodynamic therapy offers a viable treatment option for patients with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) unresponsive to bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG), investigators reported at the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s 2023 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium in San Francisco, California.

The data are from 51 patients with carcinoma in situ, with or without papillary disease, in a phase 2 clinical trial. The patients received the investigational ruthenium-based photodynamic therapy TLD-1433 followed by activation with a 530 nm intravesical laser under general anesthesia.

Early results revealed a 90- and 450-day complete response rate of 53% and 28%, respectively, with a duration of response of 29% and 28% at 360 and 450 days, respectively, a team led by Girish S. Kulkarni, MD, PhD, of Princess Margaret Cancer Center, University Health Network, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, reported in a poster presentation. The total response rates (complete and partial) at 90 and 450 days were 67% and 38%, respectively.

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The investigators reported 8 serious adverse events, noting that none of these were directly attributable to the photodynamic therapy.

“Based on the clinical data collected to date, PDT represents a viable treatment option with an acceptable safety profile,” Dr Kulkarni’s team concluded.

Disclosure: The research was sponsored by Theralase Technologies Inc. of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Please see the original reference for a full list of disclosures.


Kulkarni GS, Richards KA, Black PC, et al. A phase II clinical study of intravesical photo dynamic therapy in patients with BCG-unresponsive NMIBC (interim analysis). Presented at: ASCO GU 2023, San Francisco, California, February 16-18. Abstract 528.