Combination Radiation and Chemotherapy
Organ-preserving approaches to managing advanced tumors combine less aggressive surgical procedures with radiation and chemotherapy. In the past, radiation alone has been shown to effectively shrink bladder tumors. Yet recent studies have indicated a better response with a combined approach in the treatment of muscle-invasive bladder cancer using local resection of the tumor, radiation and chemotherapy.
Radiation and chemotherapy used together as a bladder-preserving technique are proving to be much more effective than either radiation or chemotherapy alone, although some tumors respond more favorably than others. Factors that can influence the success of bladder-preserving therapies are the completeness of the transurethral resection of the tumor, the tumor location and the tumor stage.
Although bladder removal (cystectomy) remains the standard therapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer, new advances in conformal radiation therapy and more active chemotherapeutic agents available at The Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center will continue to make the option of bladder-preserving therapy available.