Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer: Overview and Contemporary Treatment Landscape of Neoadjuvant Chemoablative Therapies

Rev Urol. 2020;22(2):43-51.


Non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) is a heterogeneous subclassification of urothelial carcinoma with significant variation in individual risk of recurrence and progression to muscle-invasive disease. Risk stratification by American Urological Association (AUA) and European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines or by using nomograms/risk calculators developed from clinical trial data can help inform patient treatment decisions but may not accurately classify all patients. Risk-adapted adjuvant (post-transurethral resection of bladder tumor [TURBT]) treatment strategies using intravesical therapies are an important means of balancing disease control with potential adverse effects. Adjuvant intravesical instillation with various chemotherapy agents and bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is well studied and associated with excellent outcomes for most patients. However, upwards of 40% of patients recur within 2 years and roughly 10% progress to muscle-invasive bladder cancer. Novel approaches and agents that aim to reduce the treatment burden associated with NMIBC are increasingly needed. We review the current landscape of NMIBC as it pertains to the use of and rationale for emerging neoadjuvant chemoablative therapies.

Keywords: Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG); Mitomycin; Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer; Urothelial carcinoma.