The management of superficial bladder cancer

Nat Clin Pract Urol. 2007 May;4(5):254-60. doi: 10.1038/ncpuro0784.


From review of the currently available trial evidence, several clinical recommendations for bladder tumor management become apparent. Transurethral resection should be done, but this procedure is prone to both overestimating and underestimating staging. Restaging transurethral resection for patients with T1 tumors should, therefore, be performed. Data support the immediate postoperative instillation of a chemotherapeutic agent for patients with solitary, low-grade papillary tumors, whereas patients with multiple lesions might benefit from a more intensive adjuvant regimen. Although the use of intravesical immunotherapy for reducing tumor progression or as maintenance therapy is controversial, bacillus Calmette-Guérin has demonstrated significant benefit for tumor prophylaxis when no obvious residual disease is present. Early radical cystectomy can be beneficial and should be performed in patients with refractory T1 tumors or carcinoma in situ before progression to muscle invasion. In this Review I present an overview of the management of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer. The most common intravesical chemotherapeutic agents are described as well as the impact of chemotherapy on the recurrence and progression of tumors. The effect of intravesical immunotherapy in bladder cancer is explored as well as the role of early cystectomy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Antineoplastic Combined Chemotherapy Protocols / administration & dosage*
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / mortality
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / pathology
  • Carcinoma, Transitional Cell / therapy*
  • Cystectomy / methods*
  • Cystoscopy / methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / mortality
  • Neoplasm Staging
  • Prognosis
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Risk Assessment
  • Survival Analysis
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / therapy*


  • BCG Vaccine