(HealthDay News) — For patients with platinum-refractory or cisplatin-ineligible advanced urothelial cancer, the combination of nab-paclitaxel and pembrolizumab is promising, according to a study published online in The Journal of Urology.

Irene Tsung, MD, from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted a single-arm phase 2 trial of nab-paclitaxel and pembrolizumab in platinum-refractory or cisplatin-ineligible advanced urothelial cancer. Thirty-six response-evaluable patients were enrolled between February 2018 and April 2021.

The researchers found that the confirmed overall response rate was 50.0% percent, including 3 complete responses and 15 partial responses; 31 patients experienced some tumor shrinkage. The median duration of response was 4.4 months at a median follow-up of 19.7 months; median progression-free survival and overall survival were 6.8 and 18.2 months, respectively. Grade ≥3 adverse events occurred in 21 patients and included fatigue and anemia (6 and 4, respectively); immune-mediated adverse events occurred in 10 patients.

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“While still experimental, the combination of these two agents offers an efficacious and feasible alternative for a group of patients for whom we don’t otherwise have effective treatment options,” Tsung said in a statement.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to biopharmaceutical companies, including Celgene/Bristol Myers Squibb, which manufactures nab-paclitaxel and funded the study.

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