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En-bloc resection of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer: does it really make a difference?

PURPOSE OF REVIEW: Transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) followed by pathology investigation of the obtained specimens is the initial step in the management of urinary bladder cancer (UBC). By following the basic principles of oncological surgery, en-bloc resection of bladder tumour (ERBT) aims to overcome the limitations associated with conventional transurethral resection, and to improve the quality of pathological specimens for a better decision making. The current bulk of evidence provides controversial results regarding the superiority of one technique over the other. The aim of this article is to summarize the recent data and provide evidence on this unanswered question.

RECENT FINDINGS: Despite heterogeneous and controversial data, ERBT seems to have a better safety profile and deliver higher quality pathologic specimens. However, the recent evidence failed to support the hypothesized oncological potential benefits of ERBT in the initial surgical treatment of patients with UBC.

SUMMARY: ERBT has gained increasing interest globally in the past decade. It continues to represent a promising strategy with a variety of features intended to solve the inherent limitations of TURBT. However, the current quality of evidence does not allow solid conclusions to be drawn about its presumed superiority compared with the conventional technique.

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