Future strategies in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of bladder cancer

Curr Opin Urol. 2003 Sep;13(5):389-95. doi: 10.1097/00042307-200309000-00006.


Purpose of review: In this review new modalities in the diagnosis, staging and treatment of superficial and invasive bladder cancer are reviewed.

Recent findings: Urinary markers still cannot replace cystoscopy in diagnosing bladder cancer. However, DNA micro-array has shown promise for diagnosis. In the treatment of superficial bladder cancer, valrubicin, pirarubicin and gemcitabine are novelties. Furthermore, a combination therapy of hyperthermia and mitomycin-C as well as photodynamic therapy seem to be safe and effective new treatment modalities. For staging, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and the positron emission tomography scan are limited. Nevertheless, the pT-category, pN-category and the number of lymph nodes removed affect survival significantly and are thus useful for staging and prognosis. This indicates a need for a standardized lymph node dissection in cystectomy patients.

Summary: In the treatment of invasive bladder cancer, prostate-sparing cystectomy shows promising potency and continence results. In advanced disease, gemcitabine-cisplatin is a valuable alternative to methotrexate-vinblastine-doxorubicin-cisplatin with fewer side-effects. Finally, radical radiotherapy should be considered a valid treatment in patients with invasive bladder cancer.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Diagnostic Techniques, Urological / trends
  • Humans
  • Neoplasm Staging / trends
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*