The prognosis for any patient with progressive or recurrent invasive bladder cancer is generally poor. Management of recurrence depends on prior therapy, sites of recurrence, and individual patient considerations. Treatment of new superficial or locally invasive tumors that develop in the setting of previous conservative therapy for superficial bladder neoplasia has been discussed earlier in this summary. Recurrent or progressive disease in distant sites or after definitive local therapy has an extremely poor prognosis, and clinical trials should be considered whenever possible.
In patients with recurrent transitional cell carcinoma, combination chemotherapy has produced high response rates with occasional complete responses seen.[1,2] Results from a randomized trial that compared M-VAC (methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin) with single-agent cisplatin in advanced bladder cancer show a significant advantage with M-VAC in both response rate and median survival. The overall response rate with M-VAC in this cooperative group trial was 39%. Other chemotherapy agents that have shown activity in metastatic bladdercancer include: paclitaxel, ifosfamide, gallium nitrate, gemcitabine, and pemetrexed. Ifosfamide, gallium, and pemetrexed have shown limited activity in patients previously treated with cisplatin.[4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11]
To diagnose bladder cancer, your doctor completes a thorough medical history and examination. You will then be referred to a urologist, a physician who has special training in managing diseases of the bladder.
The first test the urologist may perform is an intravenous pyelogram (IVP), followed by a cystoscopy. During a cystoscopy, the urologist will pass a cystoscope (a fiber-optic lighted tube) through the urethra in order to view the bladder. A urine sample for cytology will be obtained and a...
Check for U.S. clinical trials from NCI's list of cancer clinical trials that are now accepting patients with recurrent bladder cancer. The list of clinical trials can be further narrowed by location, drug, intervention, and other criteria.
General information about clinical trials is also available from the NCI Web site.
Sternberg CN, Yagoda A, Scher HI, et al.: Methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin for advanced transitional cell carcinoma of the urothelium. Efficacy and patterns of response and relapse. Cancer 64 (12): 2448-58, 1989.
Harker WG, Meyers FJ, Freiha FS, et al.: Cisplatin, methotrexate, and vinblastine (CMV): an effective chemotherapy regimen for metastatic transitional cell carcinoma of the urinary tract. A Northern California Oncology Group study. J Clin Oncol 3 (11): 1463-70, 1985.
Loehrer PJ Sr, Einhorn LH, Elson PJ, et al.: A randomized comparison of cisplatin alone or in combination with methotrexate, vinblastine, and doxorubicin in patients with metastatic urothelial carcinoma: a cooperative group study. J Clin Oncol 10 (7): 1066-73, 1992.
Roth BJ: Preliminary experience with paclitaxel in advanced bladder cancer. Semin Oncol 22 (3 Suppl 6): 1-5, 1995.
Witte RS, Elson P, Bono B, et al.: Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group phase II trial of ifosfamide in the treatment of previously treated advanced urothelial carcinoma. J Clin Oncol 15 (2): 589-93, 1997.
Einhorn LH, Roth BJ, Ansari R, et al.: Phase II trial of vinblastine, ifosfamide, and gallium combination chemotherapy in metastatic urothelial carcinoma. J Clin Oncol 12 (11): 2271-6, 1994.
Pollera CF, Ceribelli A, Crecco M, et al.: Weekly gemcitabine in advanced bladder cancer: a preliminary report from a phase I study. Ann Oncol 5 (2): 182-4, 1994.
Seidman AD, Scher HI, Heinemann MH, et al.: Continuous infusion gallium nitrate for patients with advanced refractory urothelial tract tumors. Cancer 68 (12): 2561-5, 1991.
Roth BJ: Ifosfamide in the treatment of bladder cancer. Semin Oncol 23 (3 Suppl 6): 50-5, 1996.
Bajorin DF: Paclitaxel in the treatment of advanced urothelial cancer. Oncology (Huntingt) 14 (1): 43-52, 57; discussion 58, 61-2, 2000.
Sweeney CJ, Roth BJ, Kabbinavar FF, et al.: Phase II study of pemetrexed for second-line treatment of transitional cell cancer of the urothelium. J Clin Oncol 24 (21): 3451-7, 2006.