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Standard-of-care immunotherapy for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) with intravesical Bacillus Calmettte-Guérin (BCG) is associated with adverse events (AEs), disease recurrence/progression, and supply shortages. Preclinical data have shown that intravesical instillation of Ty21a/Vivotif, the oral vaccine against typhoid fever, may be an effective and safer alternative to BCG. We assessed the safety of intravesical Ty21a in NMIBC. For ethical reasons, patients with low- or intermediate-risk NMIBC not requiring BCG immunotherapy were enrolled. To determine the maximum tolerated dose, escalating doses of Ty21a/Vivotif were intravesically instilled in three patients once a week for 4 wk in phase 1a. In phase 1b, ten patients received the selected dose (1 × 108 CFU) once a week for 6 wk, as for standard BCG therapy. At this dose, all patients completed their treatment. Most patients experienced minor systemic AEs, while half reported mild local bladder AEs. AEs only occurred after one or two instillations for 40% of the patients. Ty21a bacteria were only recovered in three out of 72 urinary samples at 1 wk after instillation. Intravesical Ty21a might be well tolerated with no cumulative side effects, no fever >39 °C, and lower risk of bacterial persistence than with BCG. Ty21a treatment thus warrants clinical trials to explore its safety and antitumor efficacy in high-risk NMIBC. This trial is registered on as NCT03421236.Patient summaryWe examined the safety of a new intra-bladder immunotherapy for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer as an alternative to the standard BCG treatment. Our data show that the Ty21a vaccine might be well tolerated. Further studies are needed to determine the safety and antitumor efficacy of this treatment.

Original publication




Journal article


European urology open science

Publication Date





55 - 58


Department of Urology, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire Vaudois, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.