The Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center offers treatment for muscle-invasive bladder cancer that preserves the function of your bladder.
What is bladder preservation therapy
Bladder preservation therapy is a treatment where the bladder tumor is removed, followed by radiation therapy and chemotherapy. Bladder preservation helps patients preserve bladder function to improve their quality of life. The treatment has been used over the past 40 years, with over 1,500 patients treated in multiple clinical trials in the U.S. and Europe.
The first step is for a surgeon to remove the cancerous tumor inside the bladder.
A four-week regimen of daily radiation therapy and chemotherapy follows.
Then there is 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.
After the final round of therapy, patients have urological evaluations every three to six months initially, then less frequently, to look for recurrent tumors. Afterwards, a patient’s oncologist and urologist will continue monitoring on an annual basis to check for recurrent tumors.
Dr. Timur Mitin, medical director at the Tuality/OHSU Cancer Center, is a specialist in bladder preservation therapy. 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.
- Is Surgery Needed for Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer? (PDF) »
- 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.
Learn 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) »