Recent advances and the emerging role for chemoradiation in nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer
Gray PJ, Shipley WU, Efstathiou JA, Zietman AL.Source Curr Opin Urol. 2013 Sep;23(5):429-34. doi: 10.1097/MOU.0b013e328363de04.

Department of Radiation Oncology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02114, USA.



The management of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) recurrent after bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy is complex and further complicated by high numbers of patients who are not candidates for cystectomy. This article reviews data supporting the use of chemoradiation in NMIBC and discusses emerging biomarkers of treatment response.


Radiotherapy, especially when combined with chemotherapy, has shown great promise for treating bladder cancer. Recent studies have identified that many patients with bladder cancer do not receive potentially curative therapies. Many such patients are elderly or infirm and represent an unmet need for curative therapeutic alternatives to radical cystectomy. Although radiotherapy alone does not appear superior to intravesical therapy in NMIBC, at least one series with long-term follow-up has shown excellent results in patients treated with radiation and concurrent chemotherapy. A clinical trial investigating the role for chemoradiation in T1 disease that has recurred is underway. Biomarkers able to predict radiotherapy response may allow for personalized therapy in the near future.


Chemoradiation is an emerging treatment option for selected patients with NMIBC. Prospective validation of currently identified biomarkers is needed along with further research to identify which patients may benefit the most from such therapy.