Best practice in the treatment of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer

Anastasios Anastasiadis, Theo M de Reijke
Therapeutic Advances in Urology 2012, 4 (1): 13-32
Bladder carcinoma is the most common malignancy of the urinary tract. Approximately 75-85% of patients with bladder cancer present with a disease that is confined to the mucosa (stage Ta, carcinoma in situ) or submucosa (stage T1). These categories are grouped as nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Although the management of NMIBC tumours has significantly improved during the past few years, it remains difficult to predict the heterogeneous outcome of such tumours, especially if high-grade NMIBC is present. Transurethral resection is the initial treatment of choice for NMIBC. However, the high rates of recurrence and significant risk of progression in higher-grade tumours mandate additional therapy with intravesical agents. We discuss the role of various intravesical agents currently in use, including the immunomodulating agent bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) and chemotherapeutic agents. We also discuss the current guidelines and the role of these therapeutic agents in the context of higher-grade Ta and T1 tumours. Beyond the epidemiology, this article focuses on the risk factors, classification and diagnosis, the prediction of recurrence and progression in NMIBC, and the treatments advocated for this invasive disease.

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