PURPOSE OF REVIEW - To review the epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of all stages of bladder cancer with an emphasis on studies published within the last year.
RECENT FINDINGS - Smoking continues to be the most important risk factor for the development of bladder cancer, and this risk has increased over time. Although a number of urinary markers for bladder cancer are now approved by the Food and Drug Administration, there is not enough evidence that any marker can replace surveillance cystoscopy. Management of high-risk patients with nonmuscle-invasive cancer remains a challenge, with continued controversy over which patients may safely be treated with bladder-sparing regimens. Efforts toward developing agents for bacillus Calmette-Guerin-refractory superficial bladder cancer continue, however, none to date have shown high rates of long-term success. In patients undergoing cystectomy, reports using more standardized measures of complications have demonstrated high rates of postoperative morbidity and mortality, particularly in elderly individuals. Robot-assisted radical cystectomy is being more widely studied as a potential approach to decrease operative blood loss and shorten recovery. Although more expensive, increasing evidence suggests that it is well tolerated, does not increase the risk of positive surgical margins, and can achieve similar lymph node counts as open cystectomy in experienced hands and with careful patient selection. Despite level I evidence supporting the use of neoadjuvant chemotherapy, there remains disagreement regarding its use vs. selective adjuvant therapy, given the modest benefits seen with current regimens.
SUMMARY - Progress continues in bladder cancer diagnosis and management, and we anticipate that future work will further advance the care of patients with this disease.