Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials
Major drug companies continually research and develop new medications and treatments for bladder cancer that must be shown to be safe and effective before doctors can prescribe them to patients. Through clinical trials, researchers test the effects of new drugs on a group of volunteers who have bladder cancer. Following a strict protocol and using carefully controlled conditions, researchers evaluate the investigational drugs under development and measure the ability of the new drug to treat bladder cancer, its safety, and any possible side effects.
Some patients are reluctant to take part in clinical trials for fear of getting no treatment at all. But patients who participate in clinical trials receive the most effective therapy currently available for the condition, or they may receive treatments that are being evaluated for future use. These bladder cancer drugs may be even more effective than current treatment. Comparing them in a clinical trial is the only way to find out.
HereÃ¢s where to find information about whether a bladder cancer clinical trial is right for you.
This website lists industry-sponsored clinical trials that are actively recruiting patients.
American Cancer Society: Ã¢Bladder Cancer Treatment,Ã¢ Ã¢Bladder Cancer Surgery,Ã¢ Ã¢Radiation Therapy for Bladder Cancer,Ã¢ Ã¢Chemotherapy for bladder cancer,Ã¢ Ã¢FDA Approves New Immunotherapy Drug for Bladder Cancer,Ã¢ Ã¢Immunotherapy for bladder cancer.Ã¢
Can Making Lifestyle Changes Help Me Manage Advanced Bladder Cancer
Along with following a treatment plan, certain lifestyle changes can make living with advanced bladder cancer a little easier. Even with limited strength and energy, there are some things you can do to feel better.
For example, eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you maintain your physical strength and boost your immune system.
A stronger immune system can help your body fight off infections, which is especially important while youre in treatment.
Some people find dietary supplements helpful while receiving treatment for cancer. Be sure to talk with your doctor before taking dietary supplements.
Staying physically active is also important. Exercise can help:
- improve your mental outlook
- improve the quality of your sleep
- increase your energy level
If you smoke, and you havent already, you should also quit smoking. The chemicals found in both cigarette and cigar smoke can accumulate in your urine and cause further damage to your bladder.
A diagnosis of advanced bladder cancer can come as a shock.
However, treatment can help:
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What Conditions Are Treated With Bcg Treatment
BCG treatment is used to address early-stage bladder cancer. This includes bladder cancers that havent invaded your bladder wall muscle, such as carcinoma in situ bladder cancers and non-muscle invasive bladder cancers . BCG treatment isnt effective against bladder cancer that has metastasized .
Clinical trials are currently underway to explore BCG treatment for fibromyalgia and diabetes. Experts believe that BCG treatment may increase cytokines , which could potentially benefit people with these conditions. More research is needed in these areas, though.
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Intravesical Therapy For Bladder Cancer
With intravesical therapy, the doctor puts a liquid drug right into your bladder rather than giving it by mouth or injecting it into your blood. The drug is put in through a soft catheter that’s put into your bladder through your urethra. The drug stays in your bladder for up to 2 hours. This way, the drug can affect the cells lining the inside of your bladder without having major effects on other parts of your body.
Symptoms Of A Urinary Problem
Talk with your doctor or nurse to learn what symptoms you may experience and when you may need to seek medical help. Some urinary or bladder changes may be normal, such as changes to the color or smell of your urine caused by some types of chemotherapy. Your health care team will determine what is causing your symptoms and what steps to take to feel better. Side effects may include:
Irritation of the bladder lining :
- pain or a burning feeling when you urinate
- blood in your urine
- trouble emptying your bladder completely
- feeling that you need to urinate urgently or frequently
- leaking a little urine when you sneeze or cough
- bladder spasms, cramps or discomfort in the pelvic area
Urinary tract infection :
- pain or a burning feeling when you urinate
- urine that is cloudy or red
- a fever of 100.5 degrees or higher, chills and fatigue
- pain in your back or abdomen
- difficulty urinating or not being able to urinate
In people being treated for cancer, a UTI can turn into a serious condition that needs immediate medical care. Antibiotics will be prescribed if you have a bacterial infection.
Symptoms that may occur after surgery:
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When Is Intravesical Chemotherapy Used
Intravesical chemotherapy is used mainly for low-to medium-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer. It helps prevent the cancer coming back . This method of giving chemotherapy cant reach cancer cells outside the bladder lining or in other parts of the body, so its not suitable for muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Common Side Effects Of Chemotherapy
Different drugs cause different side effects. Certain types of chemotherapy often have specific side effects. But each persons experience is different.
Tell your doctor about all the side effects you notice. For most types of chemotherapy, side effects do not show how well treatment is working. But they can for some types of drugs called targeted therapies. Below is a list of common side effects of traditional chemotherapy. Fatigue. Fatigue is feeling tired or exhausted almost all the time. It is the most common side effect of chemotherapy. Learn about how to cope with fatigue. Pain. Chemotherapy sometimes causes pain. This can include:
Pain from nerve damage, such as burning, numbness, or shooting pains, usually in the fingers and toes
Most types of pain related to chemotherapy get better or go away between treatments. However, nerve damage often gets worse with each dose. Sometimes the drug causing the nerve damage has to be stopped. It can take months or years for nerve damage from chemotherapy to improve or go away. In some people, it never completely goes away.
Treatment of pain often differs based on what is causing it. It is important to talk with your health care team about pain while you are taking chemotherapy. There can be other reasons for pain besides the chemotherapy, such as the cancer itself. If the pain is related to chemotherapy, doctors can treat it by:
Giving pain-relieving medications
Chemotherapy Before Surgery For Muscle
For muscle-invasive bladder cancer, our doctors may recommend chemotherapy before surgery. This treatment approach is called neoadjuvant chemotherapy. Large clinical studies have shown that this method improves cure rates and long-term survival for people with muscle-invasive bladder cancer. We typically use the drugs gemcitabine and cisplatin for neoadjuvant chemotherapy.
Daily Reminders Of Cancer
Most “Cancer Muggles,” as my young adult cancer friends call people who have not been touched by cancer, do not realize that for most cancer survivors, just because treatment has ended does not mean that dealing with cancer has. I believe that to be true for the majority of bladder cancer survivors. In my life, the Cancer Muggles don’t realize that I live with constant, daily reminders I had cancer. These reminders are not ever going away. EVER.
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How Bladder Cancer Is Treated
Different people with bladder cancer have different needs that have to treated. The treatments that your doctor recommends in the treatment plan are chosen based on the characteristics of your diagnosis and your overall health, as well as other factors.
Take time to learn about all of your treatment options and be sure to ask questions about things that are unclear. Also, talk about the goals of each treatment with your doctor and what you can expect while receiving the treatment. These types of talks are called shared decision-making. Shared decision-making is when you and your doctors work together to choose treatments that fit the goals of your care. Shared decision-making is particularly important for bladder cancer because there are different treatment options. Learn more about making treatment decisions.
To read an overview of treatment options based on the extent of the bladder cancer, read the next section in this guide, Treatments by Stage.
The most common types of treatments used for bladder cancer are described below. Your care plan also includes treatment for symptoms and side effects, an important part of cancer care.
Is There A Risk Of Bladder Cancer After Bcg Treatment
Like most cancers, bladder cancer can potentially return after treatment. Statistically, cancer will recur in up to 40% of people who receive BCG treatment. Its important to note, however, that even if the cancer comes back, it may not progress.
Low-grade bladder cancer usually doesnt spread to other areas of your body. But people who have low-grade bladder cancer have a higher risk of developing other low-grade cancers throughout their lifetime.
Less often, aggressive bladder cancer can develop after BCG treatment. If this happens, cystectomy is usually recommended.
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How Is Intravesical Chemotherapy Given
Each treatment is called an instillation. People with a low risk of recurrence usually have one instillation straight after TURBT surgery. The chemotherapy solution is left in the bladder for 60 minutes and then drained out through a catheter.
People with a medium risk of recurrence may have instillations once a week for six weeks. This is usually done as a day procedure in hospital. The chemotherapy solution is left in the bladder for up to two hours and then drained through a catheter. You may have to change position every 15 minutes so the solution washes over the entire bladder.
While you are having a course of intravesical chemotherapy, your doctor may advise you to use contraception.
My Body Handled As Much As It Could
I actually completed 5 of those 6 rounds. Based on the lab results and my doctor’s call, my body could not handle much more. As my doc said, “It’s like your body is screaming, ‘UNCLE!'”
Besides, 1 treatment isn’t going to make or break it at this point. If the cancer isn’t gone by now, 1 round isn’t going to change that.”
Did you experience MVAC? Tell us about your experience in the comments below, or with the community.
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Intravesical Chemotherapy For Non
Intravesical therapies deliver a drug directly into the bladder through a catheter placed in the urethra instead of by mouth or into a vein. The drug stays in the bladder for one to two hours. Then it is drained out through the catheter or in urine. For early-stage bladder cancer, we may give intravesical chemotherapy after transurethral resection to reduce the chance that the cancer will return. We typically use the drug mitomycin for intravesical chemotherapy.
Thats A Lot Of Side Effects
Combined, thats nearly 70 documented side effects. Of those, at various points, I personally experienced about half of them. I was scheduled for a grueling cycle of 6 rounds. Each round consisted of 2 back-to-back days of treatments. I received each of the cocktail drugs separately in addition to being infused with saline for hydration purposes and anti-nausea and vomiting medications plus Lasix between 2 of the medications. Lasix to keep the drugs from interacting with each other ! Each round was 2 weeks apart.
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Can Chemotherapy Treatment Cause Bladder Cancer
Some chemotherapy drugs can cause bladder cancer. The long-term side effects of Cytoxan and Ifosfamide which irritate the bladder lining and are associated with damage to the bladder and the bone marrow. Bladder cancer is a well-known risk and continues to arise at least 10-15 years after the drug was given.6
When You Go Home
Having bladder cancer and its treatment can be difficult to cope with. Tell your doctor or nurse about any problems or side effects that you have. The nurse will give you telephone numbers to call if you have any problems at home.
Youll be told you need to drink lots of fluid after this treatment. It helps clear your system of chemotherapy.
You have to be careful when you pass urine so that you don’t get it on your skin. Men should sit down to pass urine, to reduce the chance of splashing. The urine contains some chemicals from the chemotherapy which could irritate your skin.
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Chemotherapy For Bladder Cancer That Has Spread
Our standard treatments for bladder cancer that has spread include conventional chemotherapy regimens and immunotherapy treatments as well as approaches that are being tested in clinical trials. These approaches are designed to shrink tumors and relieve symptoms while maintaining quality of life. At MSK, our doctors are continuously seeking out new chemotherapy combinations to provide better outcomes for the people we care for.
Side Effects Requiring Immediate Medical Attention
Along with its needed effects, bcg may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur while taking bcg:
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Going Home For The First Time After Surgery
Due to the post-op complications, I was bouncing between the hospital and a rehab facility for 2 months before I was discharged home. I took some time to adjust to being home with a urostomy. I wanted to enjoy my birthday 5 days after returning home and Thanksgiving a few days after that. The week after Thanksgiving, I saw my oncologist, got my port, and started chemo.
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What Happens During Treatment
A urinary catheter is inserted through your urethra and into your bladder. Then the BCG solution is injected into the catheter. The catheter is clamped off so the solution stays in your bladder. Some doctors may remove the catheter at this time.
You have to hold the medicine in your bladder. Youll be instructed to lie on your back and to roll from side to side to make sure the solution reaches your entire bladder.
After about two hours, the catheter is unclamped so the fluid can be drained. If the catheter was already removed, youll be asked to empty your bladder at this time.
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Can Bladder Cancer Cause Sleep Interference And Fatigue
It is not unusual for patients with bladder cancer to experience the symptoms of fatigue and sleep interference.2 Fatigue is a feeling of tiredness and very low energy that generally does not go away after sleeping or resting. Sleep interference includes problems falling asleep, staying asleep, and waking during the night several times and/or for long periods of time. Radiation therapy and chemotherapy, both common treatments for bladder cancer, can cause the symptoms of fatigue and sleep interference. These symptoms can have a significant impact on a patients quality of life, and there are strategies that can be used to help address them.
What Are Common Side Effects Of Chemo
Side effects are common with chemo, but itâs important to know that they can often be prevented or controlled. The side effects from chemo often go away over time after the treatment ends.
Side effects depend on the type and amount of medicines youre taking. They also depend on the way you receive the medicines . They vary from person to person.
The side effects from intravesical chemo may include:
Burning feeling and irritation in your bladder
Having to urinate more often
An urgent need to urinate
Blood in your urine
Blood in your urine is the most common symptom of bladder cancer.
The medical name for this is haematuria and itâs usually painless. You may notice streaks of blood in your urine or the blood may turn your urine brown. The blood isnât always noticeable and it may come and go.
Less common symptoms of bladder cancer include:
- a need to urinate on a more frequent basis
- sudden urges to urinate
- a burning sensation when passing urine
If bladder cancer reaches an advanced stage and begins to spread, symptoms can include:
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Side Effects Of Intravesical Chemotherapy
Because intravesical chemotherapy puts the drugs directly into the bladder, it has fewer side effects than systemic chemotherapy .
The main side effect is bladder inflammation . Signs of cystitis include wanting to pass urine more often or a burning feeling when urinating. Drinking plenty of fluids can help. If you develop a bladder infection, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics. In some people, intravesical chemotherapy may cause a rash on the hands or feet. Tell your doctor if this occurs.
What Is Intravesical Chemotherapy
Chemotherapy uses anti-cancer drugs to destroy cancer cells. Cytotoxic means toxic to cells. These drugs disrupt the way cancer cells grow and divide.
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Which Cancer Treatments Cause Cystitis
Cystitis in cancer patients is often caused by treatment with the chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide, administration of treatments directly into the bladder, or radiation therapy to the pelvic region.
Cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide: Cystitis is commonly caused by treatment with the chemotherapy drugs cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide. Drugs are broken down in the body to substances called metabolites. Acrolein is a metabolite produced when cyclophosphamide and ifosfamide are broken down. This metabolite is cleared from the body in the urine and irritates the lining of the bladder as it is being passed.
High-dose chemotherapy prior to stem cell transplant: High-dose cyclophosphamide and/or busulfan is often administered in conjunction with a stem cell transplant. This treatment is associated with significant, and sometimes life-threatening hemorrhagic cystitis.1
Delivery of treatment directly into the bladder: A treatment for superficial bladder cancer is to deliver chemotherapy directly into the bladder, called intravesical installation. This is done by passing the chemotherapy through a catheter in the urethra, the tube that carries urine from the bladder. This approach delivers the chemotherapy drugs at full strength directly to the cancer, but may also irritate the lining of the bladder. The drugs commonly used for this approach are mitomycin-C , thiotepa or doxorubicin .