Bladder (urothelial) cancer



Pronounced Tee-sen-trick

Tecentriq, also known as atezolizumab, is a prescription medicine for the treatment of adult patients with certain types of advanced or metastatic bladder cancer.

How Tecentriq works

Tecentriq belongs to a group of medicines called immunotherapies, which work with your body’s own immune system to fight cancer cells. Tecentriq is not the same as chemotherapy.

Tecentriq works by attaching to a protein in your body, called PD-L1, which is found on some tumour cells. When this happens Tecentriq helps the immune system to better identify the cancer cells and kill them.

For more information about Tecentriq, including side effects download the Tecentriq Consumer Medicine Information here.

How to access Tecentriq

Tecentriq isn’t funded by PHARMAC. This means that you will need to pay for Tecentriq at a private treatment centre. If you have health insurance, carefully check what is covered – every health insurance provider has different rules and benefits that cover cancer treatment, surgery, tests and appointments.

To help pay for treatment with Tecentriq, Roche has created a Cost Share Programme to help make it more affordable to patients in New Zealand.

The Cost Share Programme is designed to reduce the cost of the medicine, and caps the number of treatment cycles that need to be paid for. This means that you’ll know the maximum amount you need to pay over a sustained period of time before you go onto treatment.

If you would like to learn more about Tecentriq, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss whether it’s the right treatment option for you.

Ready to take the next step

Because every situation is different, it’s important to speak to your doctor to find out if Tecentriq is right for you.

We’ve put together a discussion guide to help you begin a conversation with your doctor. Print it off, take it along to your next appointment, and take notes in the spaces provided.

Talking to your doctor about Tecentriq

For further information about private treatment providers click here.

You can also talk to your current doctor about referral to a private doctor or treatment centre.

Handy resources

Tecentriq patient resource
Tecentriq Consumer Medicine Information

Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) 1200mg/20mL and 840mg/14ml is a Prescription Medicine used for early (has not spread to other parts of the body) and advanced or metastatic (has spread to other parts of the body) non-small cell lung cancer, extensive stage small-cell lung cancer, advanced or metastatic urothelial (bladder and urinary system) cancer, advanced or metastatic triple negative breast cancer and unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.

Tell your doctor if: you have immune system problems such as Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, or lupus; you have inflammation of the lungs (pneumonitis); you have liver problems, such as hepatitis; you have thyroid problems; you are taking other medicines; you have allergies to any other medicines, foods, preservatives or dyes; you are pregnant or breastfeeding or plan to become pregnant or breastfeed. Tell your doctor right away if you become pregnant during treatment with Tecentriq.

Tell your doctor immediately if you notice any of the following signs and symptoms: inflammation of the lungs (new or worsening cough, shortness of breath and chest pain); inflammation of the liver (yellowing of skin or eyes, nausea, vomiting, bleeding or bruising, dark urine, and stomach pain); inflammation of the intestines (diarrhoea, blood in stools, and stomach pain); inflammation of the thyroid, pituitary and adrenal glands (tiredness, weight loss, weight gain, changes in mood or behaviour, visual disturbances, increased sensitivity to cold or heat, slow or rapid heart rate, hair loss, constipation, headache, and dizziness); type 1 diabetes mellitus (feeling more hungry or thirsty than usual, need to urinate more often, weight loss, and feeling tired); inflammation of the brain or spinal cord (neck stiffness, headache, fever, chills, vomiting, eye sensitivity to light, confusion and sleepiness); inflammation of the nerves (muscle weakness, numbness or tingling in hands and feet); inflammation of the pancreas (abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting); inflammation of the heart muscle (shortness of breath, feeling tired, irregular heart beat or chest pain); inflammation of the sac surrounding the heart (chest pain, difficulty and/or painful breathing, pounding/racing heart beat, fainting and/or light-headedness, swelling of legs or abdomen, pale and/or clammy skin); inflammation of the kidneys (dark and/or frothy urine, high blood pressure, swelling to face, feet, legs and hands; inflammation of muscles (muscle pain or stiffness or skin rash); infusion reactions (fever, chills, shortness of breath and flushing), excessive activation of the immune system (fever, swollen lymph nodes, skin rash, yellowing of skin and eyes, coughing, difficulty breathing, vomiting, diarrhea headache, changes in vision, weakness), paralysis of the facial muscles, inflammation of the spinal cord (muscle weakness in the legs and arms, numbness, problems with mobility, the bladder and bowel) or any inflammation of the skin.

Possible common side effects may also include: loss of appetite; diarrhoea; shortness of breath; itching of the skin; dry skin; rash; nausea; fever; chills; vomiting; difficulty swallowing; flu-like symptoms; nasal congestion; stomach, back, muscle, bone, joint or throat pain; cough; sore throat; tiredness; common cold; headaches; being short of breath when exercising; urinary tract infection; lung infection; dizziness, light-headedness, looking pale, fainting; bleeding or bruising; mouth ulcers and/or cold sores; constipation; numbness or weakness of the arms and legs; high blood pressure; hair loss; a change in the way things taste.

Tecentriq has risks and benefits. Ask your doctor if Tecentriq is right for you. Use strictly as directed. If symptoms continue or you have side effects, see your healthcare professional. For further information on Tecentriq, please talk to your health professional or visit for Tecentriq Consumer Medicine Information.

  • Tecentriq is PHARMAC funded for patients with locally advanced or metastatic NSCLC that have previously received chemotherapy. A prescription charge and normal oncologist fees may apply.
  • Tecentriq is not PHARMAC funded for urothelial cancer, breast cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma and other lung cancer indications. You will need to pay the full cost of this medicine. A prescription charge and normal oncologist fees may apply.