Bladder cancer is the 5th most common cancer in the United States with more than 76,000 new cases each year. Recently, advances in therapeutic options and improvements in outcomes in patients with bladder cancer has accelerated. Understanding of the molecular causes of bladder cancer has led to a significant increase in clinical trials and in new agents approved by the FDA.
Urothelial carcinoma, previously referred to as transitional cell carcinoma, is the most common urinary tract cancer histology that is observed in ~90% of cases. Variants including squamous cell carcinoma, adenocarcinoma, small cell carcinoma, and carcinosarcoma collectively account for ≤10% of urinary tract tumors.
Risk factors for bladder cancer can include exposure to environmental cancer-causing agents, many of which are found in industrial and textile factories, as well as smoking cigarettes, cigars, pipes, and other tobacco products.
Depending on the stage at diagnosis, treatment options can include surgery, chemotherapy or immunotherapy, radiation therapy, and hyperthermia. Molecular studies to detect certain mutations is increasingly important for prognosis and treatment decisions. Like so many other cancers, the initial stage correlates strongly with the risk of recurrence, as well as the choice and outcome of treatments. The earlier bladder cancer is diagnosed, the more likely it can be cured.
The application of hyperthermia to a tumor can have numerous positive effects on cancer cells. Heat disrupts cell membranes and increases blood flow to the tumor, making the tumor more sensitive and vulnerable both to your body’s natural immune defenses and to other cancer therapies.
Research has demonstrated that hyperthermia when combined with radiation therapy, increases the likelihood of disease-free survival 10 years after treatment of bladder cancers by 300%.
Hyperthermia can be added to bladder cancer treatment plan at any time. Optimally, hyperthermia treatment is initiated as soon as the patient begins receiving radiation therapy, or chemotherapy.
For all patients, the goal is to choose the right therapy or combination of therapies that lead to the best outcome while minimizing side effects. Hyperthermia often has no or minimal side effects and has no known adverse effects on normal tissue. Adding hyperthermia can maximize the effectiveness of your therapeutic regimen without risking sensitive surrounding organs.