The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center is offering an exciting, evidence-based approach to bladder cancer treatment in Oregon. Now patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer can potentially be cured while preserving their functional bladder.
An Alternative to Bladder Removal Surgery
Bladder preservation therapy has been used over the past 40 years, with more than 1,500 patients treated on multiple clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe. Although the majority of physicians who specialize in bladder cancer treatment often recommend removal of the entire bladder, published data provides questions to this approach.
Learn more about bladder preservation treatment. »
- In 2013, the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) evidence-based guidelines recognized bladder preservation as an acceptable alternative to cystectomy – the surgical removal of the bladder.
- Quality of life is dramatically affected when the bladder is removed, and bladder preservation leads to significantly better outcomes.
Read more about quality of life with bladder preservation therapy. (PDF) »
- A large meta analysis comparing the outcomes between 10,000 patients treated with cystectomy and 3,000 patients treated with bladder preservation therapy showed association between better overall survival and undergoing bladder preservation therapy.
Read more about bladder preservation therapy outcomes vs. cystectomy. (PDF) »
- A randomized trial in the U.K. showed no difference in outcomes between removal of the bladder (cystectomy) and selective bladder preservation with the use of chemotherapy and radiation therapy.
Read more about bladder preservation therapy outcomes in patients receiving chemotherapy. (PDF) »
How Bladder Preservation Treatment Works
The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center patients can receive a second opinion regarding muscle-invasive bladder cancer management. They may choose to receive bladder preservation treatment directly at the center, or to have treatment recommendations sent to providers closer to home.
The first step is for the patient’s urologist to remove the cancerous tumor inside the bladder. A four-week regimen of daily radiation therapy and chemotherapy follows. The patient then takes a four-week break from treatment, in which a urologist looks inside the bladder to make sure the treatment is going as planned. The patient then receives another two and a half weeks of daily radiation therapy with chemotherapy. Patients receive follow-up urological evaluations every three to six months initially, then less frequently, to look for recurrent tumors. If no evidence of recurrent tumors exists after three to five years, it is unlikely the cancer will return.
Trained by Pioneers
Dr. Timur Mitin, medical director at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, is a specialist in bladder preservation therapy and advocates for its widespread practice. He received his training in the Harvard Radiation Oncology Program in Boston and was invited to join the faculty at Massachusetts General Hospital – the institution that established and refined the bladder preservation program in North America over the past 40 years. Dr. Mitin has treated patients on national clinical trials of bladder preservation therapy.
Read more about Dr. Mitin’s take on radical cystectomy vs. bladder preservation therapy. (PDF) »
Contact Us to Learn More
For more information on bladder preservation and bladder cancer treatment at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, call 503-681-4200 or visit us for a consultation.