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Brief Title: Pembrolizumab in Intermediate Risk Recurrent Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC)

A Parallel Group Phase I/II Marker Lesion Study to Assess the Safety, Tolerability and Efficacy of Intravenous or Intravesical Pembrolizumab in Intermediate Risk Recurrent Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer


  • Org Study ID: OCTO-079
  • Secondary ID: N/A
  • NCT ID: NCT03167151
  • Sponsor: University of Oxford


A parallel group, open label, multi-centre, phase I/II marker-lesion study of intravesical or intravenous pembrolizumab in recurrent intermediate risk NMIBC. Thirty patients (fifteen in each of two arms) will be randomised 1:1 to treatment with either intravesical pembrolizumab (Arm A) or intravenous pembrolizumab (Arm B). The main study will be preceded by a single institution safety run-in phase involving intra-patient dose escalation in six patients to confirm the safety and tolerability of intravesical pembrolizumab and the dose to be used in the randomised phase.


Bladder cancer is the seventh most common cancer in the United Kingdom (UK) and ninth most common cancer worldwide. New strategies for treating this disease are urgently required to reduce recurrence and progression rates. Pembrolizumab is a type of immunotherapy drug that has been approved for use in certain types of melanoma and lung cancer. It is thought to work by helping the body's immune system to recognise and attack cancer. Drugs that work in a similar way have shown some encouraging results in studies treating patients with bladder cancer that has spread to other parts of the body, although they are not currently approved for treating either advanced or localised bladder cancer.

This trial is being performed to assess the safety and tolerability of giving pembrolizumab to patients with localised bladder cancer and to study what effects the drug has on the tumour; Participants will have all but one tumour (referred to as the marker lesion) removed during their transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) procedure at the start of the trial. After trial treatment, a further TURBT procedure will be carried out to remove the marker lesion, or if the marker lesion is no longer visible, a biopsy will be taken of the area where the growth was before.

After a safety run in with intra-patient dose escalation of intravesical pembrolizumab performed in paired patient cohorts, the trial will test two different ways of giving the pembrolizumab; directly into the bladder (intravesical) with 6 doses being received over 6 weeks and with a further dose approximately 3 weeks later, or into the blood stream via the veins (intravenous) with a dose being received every 3 weeks for a maximum of 4 doses.

36 eligible participants from across 3 UK centres will be randomly allocated to receive treatment by one of these ways. Following the end of treatment visit, patients will return to receiving standard care but receive follow-up for up to 2 years.

  • Overall Status
  • Start Date
    March 2, 2018
  • Phase
  • Study Type


Primary Outcome 1 - Measure:

Primary Outcome 1 - Timeframe: N/A


  • Non-muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC)


Inclusion Criteria:
In order to be eligible for participation in this trial, the subject must:
1. Be willing and able to provide written informed consent for the trial and comply with the protocol scheduled follow-up visits and examinations for the duration of the study.

- 2. Be ≥ 18 years of age on day of signing informed consent.

- 3. Have recurrent NMIBC for which adjuvant treatment post TURBT would be a reasonable treatment option.

- 4. Main study only: a. Have recurrent, multiple (minimum 2) tumours consistent with NMIBC.
b. Have at least one lesion of between 5-10mm in size clinically that can be left un-resected at TURBT as the marker lesion.
c. Have histologically confirmed low grade transitional cell NMIBC at original and any subsequent diagnosis.

- 5. Have a normal upper urinary tract (as evidenced by ultrasound or CT urography within 2 years prior to randomisation) and no evidence of tumour in prostatic urethra at flexible cystoscopy.

- 6. Have a performance status of 0 or 1 on the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) Performance Scale.

- 7. Have adequate organ function as defined below:
Haemoglobin (Hb) ≥ 9 g/dL without transfusion or erythropoietin (EPO) dependency Absolute neutrophil count (ANC) ≥ 1.5 x 109/L Platelet count ≥ 100 x 109/L Total bilirubin ≤ 1.5 times the upper limit of normal (ULN) or direct bilirubin < ULN for subjects with total bilirubin levels > 1.5 x ULN Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and/or serum aspartate aminotransferase (AST) ≤ 2.5 x ULN Serum creatinine OR Measured or calculated creatinine clearance ≤ 1.5 x ULN OR
≥ 60ml/min for subject with creatinine levels > 1.5 x institutional ULN Albumin ≥ 25g/L International Normalized Ratio (INR) or Prothrombin Time (PT) and Activated Partial Thromboplastin Time (aPTT) ≤ 1.5 x ULN unless subject is receiving anticoagulant therapy as long as PT or APTT is within therapeutic range of intended use of anticoagulants a Creatinine clearance should be calculated as per institutional standard

- 8. Female subjects of childbearing potential should have a negative urine or serum pregnancy test within 72 hours prior to receiving the first dose of study medication. If the urine test is positive or cannot be confirmed as negative, a serum pregnancy test will be required.

- 9. Both male and female subjects of childbearing potential must be willing to use an adequate method of contraception as outlined in section 5.1 for the course of the study and until 120 days after the last dose of the study medication.
Exclusion Criteria:
The subject must be excluded from participating in the trial if the subject:
1. Has received prior radiotherapy to the pelvis.

- 2. Has significant urinary incontinence or known bladder instability.

- 3. Main study only:
1. Has more than 2 out of 3 of the following present at the current time: i. ≥8 tumours ii. Tumour ≥3cm in size iii. Frequent recurrence (>1/year)

- 2. Has a previous history of any of the following: T1 tumour, high grade/G3 tumour, carcinoma in situ, multiple recurrent large (>3cm) Ta, G1 or G2 tumours.

- 3. Had a primary tumour of unknown pathological stage or grade.

- 4. Has disease for which resection of all visible tumours is not possible.

- 4. Is currently participating and receiving study therapy or has participated in a study of an investigational agent and received study therapy or used an investigational device within 28 days of the first dose of trial treatment.

- 5. Has a diagnosis of immunodeficiency or is receiving systemic steroid therapy or any other form of immunosuppressive therapy within 7 days prior to the first dose of trial treatment. Subjects requiring use of inhaled or intranasal corticosteroids or local steroid injections would not be excluded.

- 6. Has a known history of active tuberculosis (TB).

- 7. Has received intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatment within 30 days prior to the first dose of trial treatment.

- 8. Has hypersensitivity to pembrolizumab or any of its excipients.

- 9. Has had treatment with any other anti-cancer monoclonal antibody within 28 days prior to enrolment or who has not recovered (i.e. ≤ Grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to agents administered more than 4 weeks earlier.

- 10. Has had treatment with prior chemotherapy, targeted small molecule therapy, or radiation therapy within 2 weeks of administration of study drug or who has not recovered (i.e. ≤ Grade 1 or at baseline) from adverse events due to a previously administered agent.

- 11. Has a known additional malignancy that is progressing or requires active treatment. Exceptions include basal cell carcinoma of the skin or squamous cell carcinoma of the skin that has undergone potentially curative therapy or in situ cervical cancer.

- 12. Has known active central nervous system (CNS) metastases and/or carcinomatous meningitis. Subjects with previously treated brain metastases may participate provided they are stable (without evidence of progression by imaging for at least four weeks prior to the first dose of trial treatment and any neurological symptoms have returned to baseline), have no evidence of new or enlarging brain metastases, and are not using steroids for a t least 7 days prior to trial treatment. This exception does not include carcinomatous meningitis which is excluded regardless of clinical stability.

- 13. Has active autoimmune disease that has required systemic treatment in the past 2 years (i.e. with use of disease modifying agents or immunosuppressive drugs). Replacement therapy (e.g. thyroxine, insulin or physiologic corticosteroids replacement therapy for adrenal or pituitary insufficiency, etc.) is not considered a form of systemic treatment.

- 14. Has a known history of, or any evidence of active, non-infectious pneumonitis.

- 15. Has an active or intractable infection requiring systemic therapy.

- 16. Has a history or current evidence of any condition, therapy, or laboratory abnormality that might confound the results of the trial, interfere with the subject's participation for the full duration of the trial, or is not in the best interest of the subject to participate, in the opinion of the treating Investigator.

- 17. Has a known psychiatric or substance abuse disorder that would interfere with cooperation with the requirements of the trial.

- 18. Is pregnant or breastfeeding, or expecting to conceive or father children within the projected duration of the trial, starting with the pre-screening or screening visit through to 120 days after the last dose of trial treatment.

- 19. Has received prior therapy with an anti-programmed cell death protein 1 (anti-PD-1), anti-programmed death ligand 1 (anti PD-L1), or anti-programmed death ligand 2 (anti-PD-L2) agent.

- 20. Has a known history of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) (HIV 1/2 antibodies).

- 21. Has known active Hepatitis B (e.g. HBsAg reactive) or Hepatitis C (e.g. hepatitis C virus [HCV] RNA [qualitative] is detected).

- 22. Has received a live vaccine within 30 days prior to the first dose of trial treatment.

Gender: All

Minimum Age: 18 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Healthy Volunteers: No


Name: Andrew S Protheroe, MRCP, FRCP

Role: Principal Investigator

Affiliation: Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust

Overall Contact

Name: N/A

Phone: N/A

Email: N/A


Facility Status Contact