Immunotherapy for Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer

Immunotherapy works with the body’s immune system to find, attack, and kill cancer cells. These drugs can work in different ways. Some boost the immune system, so it can fight cancer better. Other immunotherapy drugs help the immune system better recognize cancer cells. 

Immunotherapy can be used as a maintenance therapy in muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Maintenance therapy is treatment that is given to help keep cancer from coming back after it has disappeared following first-line therapy or therapy that is given to prevent the cancer from progressing.

These are the latest immunotherapy drugs approved to treat muscle-invasive bladder cancer. New treatments become available all the time, so this may not be a complete list.

Please note: The side effects listed here do not represent a comprehensive list. It's important to discuss all potential side effects of a drug with your health care team. Be sure to tell your health care team about any side effects you do have.

Search by Drug Name

IV (through a vein) =      Pill =

Treatment Type

Monoclonal Antibody

Drug Names
Bavencio® (avelumab) (IV)
Keytruda® (pembrolizumab) (IV)
Opdivo® (nivolumab) (IV)
Potential Side Effects - Bavencio
Abnormal blood tests Fatigue/weakness Pain
Important Things to Know
  • These medications can be used for patients with PD-L1 biomarker.
  • Bavencio is used as maintenance therapy after platinum-based chemotherapy.
  • Low blood counts are a potential side effect of Keytruda and Opdivo that may put you at risk for anemia, infection, or bleeding.
  • Abnormal blood tests are a potential side effect of Keytruda; your health care team will be monitoring your lab tests.