Combination of intravesical chemotherapy and hyperthermia for the treatment of superficial bladder cancer: preliminary clinical experience

Crit Rev Oncol Hematol. 2003 Aug;47(2):127-39. doi: 10.1016/s1040-8428(03)00076-3.


The prevalence of superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder (STCCB) is still increasing in spite of improved adjuvant chemotherapeutic and/or immunoprophylaxis approaches. Thus, there is certainly an urgent need to improve our ability to control this disease. Local hyperthermia has a therapeutical potential for the treatment of many solid tumors, especially when used in combination with other treatments, such as radiation and chemotherapy. In particular, a synergistic or, at least, supra-additive anti-tumor cell killing effect was documented when local hyperthermia was administered in combination with selected cytostatic drugs. Recently, advances in miniaturized technology have allowed the development of a system specifically designed for delivering an endovesical thermo-chemotherapy regimen in humans. In preliminary clinical experiences, insofar mainly carried out as mono-institutional investigations, the combined treatment using this system was demonstrated to be feasible, minimally invasive and safe when performed on out-patient basis. Moreover, the anti-tumoral efficacy seemed to be significantly enhanced when compared with that obtained using intravesical chemotherapy alone for both adjuvant (prophylaxis) and neo-adjuvant (ablative) approaches to superficial bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Animals
  • Antineoplastic Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Combined Modality Therapy / adverse effects
  • Combined Modality Therapy / methods
  • Humans
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / methods*
  • Hyperthermia, Induced / trends
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / prevention & control
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / complications
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*


  • Antineoplastic Agents