June 5, 2018 – Bladder Cancer Treatment
Anchor lead: Using chemotherapy inside the bladder may reduce recurrence, Elizabeth Tracey reports
People with early bladder cancer who had the chemotherapy drug gemcitabine placed inside the bladder following surgery to remove the tumor had fewer recurrences, a recent study found. William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains the trial.
Nelson: They took more than 400 subjects, 384 completed the trial, randomized them to receive gemcitabine, which is a chemotherapy drug used to treat bladder cancer, they’re going to instill it into the bladder and let it sit there for an hour, versus saline or something that doesn’t have gemcitabine in it. And then follow them every three months and they do that every three months for two years, every six months for another couple years. What they found was the recurrences were 34% less. :29
Nelson says the goal is to keep bladder cancer in check so that it doesn’t invade the muscle wall of the organ and notes that this is a very simple intervention without significant side effects. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.