Bladder Cancer Biological Therapy
Biological therapy (also called immunotherapy) uses the body's natural ability (immune system) to fight cancer. Biological therapy is most often used after TUR for superficial bladder cancer. This helps prevent the cancer from coming back.
The doctor may use intravesical biological therapy with BCG solution. BCG solution contains live, weakened bacteria. The bacteria stimulate the immune system to kill cancer cells in the bladder. The doctor uses a catheter to put the solution in the bladder. The patient must hold the solution in the bladder for about 2 hours. BCG treatment is usually done once a week for 6 weeks.
Patients may want to ask these questions about chemotherapy or biological therapy:
- Why do I need this treatment?
- What drug will I get? How will it be given? What will it do?
- Will I have side effects? What can I do about them?
- How long will I be on this treatment?
- How often will I need checkups?
BCG therapy can irritate the bladder. Patients may feel an urgent need to urinate, and may need to urinate frequently. Patients also may have pain, especially when urinating. They may feel tired. Some patients may have blood in their urine, nausea, a low-grade fever, or chills.