Contemporary management of superficial bladder cancer

Cancer Control. 2000 Jul-Aug;7(4):335-9. doi: 10.1177/107327480000700402.


Background: Bladder cancer is the second most common urologic malignancy after prostate cancer. Superficial bladder cancer presents as a heterogeneous group of tumors with variable biological potential. A significant percentage of patients diagnosed with superficial cancer will have multiple recurrences, and some will progress to invasive disease.

Methods: Patients are stratified into low- or high-risk for recurrence and progression. We review the most recent literature regarding intravesical therapy for superficial bladder cancer, and we summarize indications for the use of intravesical agents as well as their efficacy, toxicity, and cost.

Results: Several intravesical agents are available for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer. Patients may be identified as low- or high-risk for recurrence and progression. High-risk patients benefit from intravesical therapy.

Conclusions: Superficial bladder cancer is a heterogeneous group of diseases. Treatment is effective in preventing recurrences and progression in the high-risk group.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adenocarcinoma / pathology
  • Adenocarcinoma / therapy*
  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Squamous Cell / therapy*
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / therapy*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha / administration & dosage
  • Mitomycin / administration & dosage
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Prognosis
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • BCG Vaccine
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Mitomycin