Most urothelial cancer can be cured if treated early. Treatment for urothelial cancer depends on the stage. Stages are used to describe how much the cancer has worsened or spread.
There are multiple stages and treatment options for urothelial cancer. More specific treatment descriptions are available below.
Stage 0 – This stage of urothelial cancer is also called non–invasive papillary carcinoma or carcinoma in situ, which means that abnormal cells appear in the lining of the kidney pelvis, ureter, or bladder. These abnormal cells may become cancerous and spread to nearby tissue.
Treatment for Stage 0 urothelial cancer may include:
Stage I – In this stage of urothelial cancer, the cancer has spread from the lining of the kidney pelvis, ureter, or bladder to the connective tissue.
Treatment for Stage I urothelial cancer may include:
Stage II – In this stage of urothelial cancer, the cancer has spread to the muscle of the kidney pelvis, ureter, or bladder.
Treatment for Stage II urothelial cancer may include:
Stage III – In this stage of urothelial cancer, the cancer has spread from the muscle of the kidney pelvis to the fat surrounding it, to other kidney tissue, or from the muscle of the ureter to the fat surrounding it.
Treatment for Stage III urothelial cancer may include:
Stage IV – In this stage of urothelial cancer, the cancer has spread to the fat surrounding the kidney, the lymph nodes, a nearby organ, or to other parts of the body, such as the lung, liver, or bone.
Treatment for Stage IV urothelial cancer may include:
Treatments for urothelial cancer depend on the type and stage and may include:
Surgery for urothelial cancer may include:
Transurethral resection of bladder tumor, which is where the surgeon inserts a cautery or laser device through the urethra into the bladder to burn out the cancer.
Cystectomy, which can be either partial, full, or radical removal of the bladder and nearby organs and lymph nodes
Bladder reconstruction, which creates a new way for urine to pass by making a new pouch for the urine
Chemotherapy for urothelial cancer can be given in different ways, such as
Systemic (whole body) chemotherapy, which is used when the cancer cannot be surgically removed. Systemic chemotherapy can be given directly into a vein or a pill by mouth.
Chemoradiation, which is when chemotherapy is combined with radiation therapy
Chemotherapy drugs used for the treatment of urothelial cancer include:
Radiation Therapy – Radiation therapy uses directed, high-energy X-rays, protons, or other types of radiation to kill cancer cells.
Trimodality Therapy – Trimodality therapy uses a combination of chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and transurethral resection of bladder tumor in an effort to preserve as much of the bladder as possible.
Immunotherapy, also called biologics – Immunotherapy is when the body’s immune system, or the body’s natural defenses, is used to fight cancer cells.
Common immunotherapy drugs administered for urothelial cancer are:
In addition to standard treatments, patients with urothelial cancer may also be treated with palliative care. Palliative care is used to relieve pain and other symptoms to make a patient more comfortable.
New and experimental treatments for urothelial cancer include the immunotherapy drugs pembrolizumab (Keytruda), nivolumab (Opdivo), and ipilimumab (Yervoy).
Ongoing, long-term follow-up is an essential part of the treatment for patients with cancer because the cancer can reoccur even after it has been treated.
This content was written by the MediFind Medical Team. Last updated: 6/9/2022
These are drugs that have been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), meaning they have been determined to be safe and effective for use in Urothelial Cancer.