Bladder Cancer

Enfortumab vedotin monotherapy or its combination with pembrolizumab could significantly evolve the treatment landscape for urothelial cancer November, 2022

An epigenetics drug currently being used for the treatment of blood cancers and rare sarcomas can stop the growth of bladder cancer by activating the immune system, reports a new Northwestern Medicine study done in mice and published in Science Advances. October, 2022

Chemoresection Reduces Need for Surgery in Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Toxicity data reveal no safety concerns with S/N1806 bladder cancer trial

An Influx of Data Expands Options, Improves Treatment for Bladder Cancer

Overview of Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer is a type of abnormal cell malignancy that begins in the cells of the bladder, the balloon-shaped organ which functions as a waste storage system for urine.

Transitional cell (urothelial) carcinoma: is cancer that begins in the urinary tract transitional epithelium cells lining the inside of the bladder. Transitional cell carcinoma is the most common kind of bladder cancer, occurring in about 95% of cases.

Squamous cell carcinoma: is cancer that begins when epithelial cells change to squamous cells (thin, flat cells) as a result of chronic irritation and inflammation. About 1% to 2% of bladder cancers are squamous cell carcinomas.

Adenocarcinoma: is cancer that begins in the cells of glandular structures lining the inner lining of the bladder. Adenocarcinomas account for only about 1% of bladder cancers.

Treatments for Bladder Cancer

Treatments for bladder cancer include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy.

Surgery: One of the following surgery options may be performed in the treatment of bladder cancer:

  • Transurethral resection (TUR): Is a procedure that used a thin lighted tube that is used to remove the bladder cancer or burn the tumour with fulguration.
  • Partial cystectomy: is surgery to remove part of the bladder for patients who have a low-grade tumour that has spread to the wall of the bladder.
  • Radical cystectomy: is surgery to remove the bladder and any involved lymph nodes and adjacent organs, such as the prostate or ovaries.

Radiation Therapy: traditional external radiation therapy or internal radiation therapy (seeds, wires, catheters) may be used depending on the type and stage of the cancer.

Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is often used in combination with other bladder cancer treatments. Chemotherapy is often given either before surgery (neoadjuvant chemo) or after surgery (adjuvant chemo) to lower the chance the cancer will reoccur. Some of the drugs currently approved for bladder cancer include: Adriamycin PFS, Adriamycin RDF, Mitomycin C, Thiotepa, Cisplatin, Doxorubicin Hydrochloride, Platinol, Platinol-AQ

Immunotherapy, or biologic therapy: is a treatment that uses the patient’s immune system to stop the cancer growth. One effective immunotherapy treatment used in the treatment of bladder cancer, BCG (bacillus Calmette-Guerin), is a live but weakened vaccine strain of bovine tuberculosis.

Clinical Trials for Bladder Cancer

National Cancer Institute clinical trials

Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network Clinical Trials

Swog Cancer Research clinical trials resource

Additional Educational Resources for Bladder Cancer

Bladder Cancer Educational Resources from

Bladder Cancer Webcafe: Online information and support for people with bladder cancer; discussion forum, tips for the newly diagnosed, survival guide for hospitalizations for patients and caregivers.

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Recent News for Bladder Cancer

TARIS® Initiates Dosing of TAR-200 (GemRIS™) in Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer Patients Unfit for Curative Intent Therapy
March 14, 2018

Scientists pinpoint bladder cancer patients who could benefit from ‘tumor-softening’ treatment
Cancer Research UK
July 30, 2014

Study: Robotic surgery no better than traditional surgery for bladder cancer
July 23, 2014

Neoadjuvant chemotherapy beneficial in muscle-invasive bladder cancer
Clinical Oncology News
July, 2014

Research Points to new therapies for bladder cancer
Health Canal
September, 2014

Support Groups for Bladder Cancer

American Bladder Cancer Society

American Cancer Society


Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network

Inspire Support Groups

Imerman Angels (to connect directly with another survivor or caregiver through an organization that creates personal, one-on-one connections among patients, survivors, and caregivers)

Fighting Chance- free counseling service for cancer patients and caregivers