Current perspectives in bladder cancer management
Griffiths TR; on behalf of Action on Bladder Cancer (Charity Registration Number: 1138532). Int J Clin Pract. 2012 Nov 9. doi: 10.1111/ijcp.12075. [Epub ahead of print]


University Hospitals of Leicester NHS Trust, Clinical Sciences Unit, Leicester General Hospital, Leicester, UK.


More than 350,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed worldwide each year; the vast majority (> 90%) of these are transitional cell carcinomas (TCC). The most important risk factors for the development of bladder cancer are smoking and occupational exposure to toxic chemicals. Painless visible haematuria is the most common presenting symptom of bladder cancer; significant haematuria requires referral to a specialist urology service. Cystoscopy and urine cytology are currently the recommended tools for diagnosis of bladder cancer. Excluding muscle invasion is an important diagnostic step, as outcomes for patients with muscle invasive TCC are less favourable. For non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, transurethral resection followed by intravesical chemotherapy (typically Mitomycin C or epirubicin) or immunotherapy [bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG)] is the current standard of care. For patients failing BCG therapy, cystectomy is recommended; for patients unsuitable for surgery, the choice of treatment options is currently limited. However, novel interventions, such as chemohyperthermia and electromotive drug administration, enhance the effects of conventional chemotherapeutic agents and are being evaluated in Phase III trials. Radical cystectomy (with pelvic lymphadenectomy and urinary diversion) or radical radiotherapy are the current established treatments for muscle invasive TCC. Neoadjuvant chemotherapy is recommended before definitive treatment of muscle invasive TCC; cisplatin-containing combination chemotherapy is the recommended regimen. Palliative chemotherapy is the first-choice treatment in metastatic TCC.