What is TECENTRIQ (atezolizumab)?

TECENTRIQ is a cancer immunotherapy.


TECENTRIQ is a monoclonal antibody designed to target and bind to a protein called PD-L1 (programmed death ligand-1), which is expressed on tumour cells and tumour-infiltrating immune cells.1 PD-L1 interacts with PD-1 and B7.1, both found on the surface of T cells, causing inhibition of T cells.1 By blocking this interaction, TECENTRIQ may enable the activation of T cells, restoring their ability to effectively detect and attack tumour cells.1


TECENTRIQ has led the way in cancer immunotherapy and was the first monoclonal antibody targeting PD-L1 to be approved by EMA as a treatment for a number of cancer types, receiving authorisation in September 2017.1,2


In Europe, TECENTRIQ has been licensed for locally advanced or metastatic urothelial carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, extensive-stage small cell lung cancer and triple-negative breast cancer.1



TECENTRIQ targets PD-L1 to restore antitumour T-cell activity


TECENTRIQ binds directly to PD-L1, increasing the ability of the immune system to attack the tumour and reduce disease progression.

  • View video transcript

    View video transcript

    TECENTRIQ (atezolizumab)

    The first approved anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy

    Introducing the proposed mechanism of action for TECENTRIQ (atezolizumab). The first approved anti PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy. Cancer immunotherapies are designed to work with the immune system to combat cancer. The cancer immunity cycle characterises how a person’s own immune system can help protect the body against cancer. Through a series of complex interactions, the immune system can detect tumours and activate cytotoxic T-cells to infiltrate the tumour microenvironment and attack tumour cells. When functioning optimally the cancer immunity cycle is self-sustaining. However, in patients with cancer this immunity cycle can be disrupted allowing for unchecked tumour growth. Among other factors, this disruption can be caused by PD-1 or PD-L1, a negative immune regulator that can be expressed in the tumour microenvironment. Cytotoxic T cells that enter the tumour microenvironment may be deactivated by PD-L1 on tumour cells and tumour infiltrating immune cells. When PD-L1 binds to its receptors PD-1 or B7.1 on T cells, the T cells may be rendered inactive. As a result, anti-tumour immune activity may be suppressed in the tumour microenvironment causing disruption in the cancer immunity cycle.


    TECENTRIQ is the first approved anti-PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy. TECENTRIQ targets PD-L1 in the tumour microenvironment, a key site of T cell deactivation. The proposed mechanism of action of TECENTRIQ has three distinct features:


    DIRECT: TECENTRIQ is designed to bind directly to PD-L1 on tumour cells and tumour infiltrating immune cells in the tumour microenvironment.


    COMPLETE: TECENTRIQ provides a dual blockade by preventing PD-L1 from binding to both the PD-1 and B7.1 receptor. Blocking interaction with PD-1 can reinvigorate suppressed T cells to kill cancer cells. Blocking interaction with B7.1 can enhance T-cell priming and activation in the lymph node.


    SELECTIVE: In normal tissues TECENTRIQ may help minimise autoimmune reactions. TECENTRIQ spares interactions between PD-1 and PD-L2, potentially preserving immune homeostasis in normal tissue. In clinical trials blocking PD-L1 from binding to its receptors resulted in tumour shrinkage.


    TECENTRIQ provides direct and complete blockade of PD-L1 interactions while selectively sparing PD-L2 interactions. This can restore antitumor T-cell activity and enhanced T-cell priming within the cancer immunity cycle.


    For more information about TECENTRIQ the first approved anti PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy. Please contact your representative.


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At Roche, we believe in a shared purpose in improving the care and treatment of patients living with difficult to treat cancers. We understand and empathise with the demands you face managing the needs of these patients.

Roche is committed to exploring new treatment options to individualise treatment and meet patients’ needs. TECENTRIQ has proven efficacy as monotherapy as well as in combination with other medicines and we are committed to exploring new combinations to improve patient outcomes (ref. SmPC). 

TECENTRIQ is an anti PD-L1 cancer immunotherapy that specifically targets PD-L1 on tumour and tumour-infiltrating immune cells across a broad range of solid tumours. TECENTRIQ offers a pioneering, targeted treatment with proven efficacy and an acceptable tolerability profile (ref. SmPC). Please see the specific indications for more information.

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TECENTRIQ has proven efficacy as monotherapy as well as in combination with other medicines and we are committed to explore new combinations for better patient outcomes (ref. SmPC).

In many difficult-to-treat tumour types with a high unmet need, including metastatic urothelial carcinoma, triple negative breast cancer and lung cancer (non-small cell lung cancer and small cell lung cancer), TECENTRIQ has shown significant improvements in progression-free and/or overall survival (ref. SmPC). Importantly, treatment can be tailored (i.e., in combination with the standard of care, or different dosing schedules) according to the type of cancer and the patient’s individual needs (ref. SmPC).
Read SmPC for more details

The multiple indications of TECENTRIQ (ref. SmPC)
provide a wealth of data to inform treatment decision-making and deliver valuable reassurance when considering the needs of your patients with cancer. Please see the specific indications for more information.



TECENTRIQ treatment offers the potential to improve treatment outcomes and maintain patient quality of life in your difficult to treat cancer patients, so they can hopefully spend more time with their loved ones.

TECENTRIQ is approved in metastatic urothelial carcinoma, non-small cell lung cancer, extensive-stage small cell lung cancer and triple negative breast cancer (ref. SmPC).

  • References & Notes

    References & Notes

    1 TECENTRIQ (atezolizumab), Summary of Product Characteristics. 27 March 2020. Available from: https://www.ema.europa.eu/en/medicines/human/EPAR/tecentriq (Accessed April 2020).


    2 European Medicines Agency. Available from ema.europa.eu/en/medicines (Accessed May 2020).