PURPOSE OF REVIEW - To review the diagnosis and management of all stages of bladder cancer with an emphasis on studies and developments within the last year.
RECENT FINDINGS - Cystoscopy remains the mainstay in the detection and surveillance of bladder cancer, though fluorescent light may enhance detection as well as prolong recurrence-free survival. Urine cytology remains the gold standard for diagnosis and surveillance of bladder cancer; however, there are continued efforts in the development of urinary bladder cancer markers. Transurethral resection and instillation of perioperative chemotherapy remains the treatment of choice for superficial bladder cancer in most patients. Data supports the use of intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (including a maintenance regimen) for those at high risk for disease progression. Radical cystectomy with thorough pelvic lymphadenectomy remains the gold standard for management of muscle invasive disease. Research on the use of laparoscopy, robot-assisted laparoscopy, the effect on patient's health-related quality of life, and the potential role for bladder preservation strategies is ongoing. The value of neoadjuvant versus adjuvant chemotherapy around the time of cystectomy is still debated, though the best level-one evidence supports the use of neoadjuvant methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin followed by cystectomy. Platinum-based chemotherapeutic agents are most commonly used in the community setting. Work is ongoing to develop new regimens, especially in patients who cannot take cisplatin. Research in the development of targeted therapies alone or in combination with chemotherapeutic regimens continues and will hopefully broaden our treatment strategy for patients with advanced/metastatic disease.
SUMMARY - We are encouraged by the progress in bladder cancer diagnosis and management; however, continued research is needed in order to improve the lives of our patients with this disease.