Radical cancer treatment for bladder patients effective, says study

8 August 2011

The combination of radical cystectomy surgery - where the entire bladder is removed - with targeted chemotherapy treatment produces acceptable outcomes and low death rates, according to new research.

Studying medical records of 2,287 men between 1998 and 2008 also found that men who smoked less and who also had lymph nodes removed from the pelvic area prior to surgery had improved survival rates.

Published in the latest edition of the British Journal of Urology International, the study also found that the use of targeted chemotherapy was underused, especially in Canada, for the treatment of bladder cancer.

This was something that "challenged" the perceived wisdom of removing the bladder straight away, according to co-author Dr Wassim Kassouf, from McGill University Health Centre in Quebec.

Dr Kassouf added: "Recent advances in combined radiation with chemotherapy have challenged the role of radical cystectomy [bladder removal] with [the removal of pelvic lymph nodes], which is used to treat muscle invasive and refractory non-muscle invasive bladder cancer."

The news could prompt advances in the field of cancer treatment and help in broader prostate treatments. The findings also support recent comments from Welsh cancer charity Tenovus, which advocated healthier lifestyles to minimise cancer risk.

Posted by Philip Briggs

1 Yafi, Faysal A., et al., " Contemporary outcomes of 2287 patients with bladder cancer who were treated with radical cystectomy: a Canadian multicentre experience". British Journal of Urology International. Monday August 8th 2011.

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