Research & Education
This delivery method for chemotherapy medications puts them into the bladder itself. It is most commonly used when people have superficial cancer (cancer on the surface of the bladder that cannot be removed). This has several advantages – stronger doses of some medications may be given, and many of the systemic effects of chemotherapy are avoided or minimized. A catheter is placed into your bladder. The medication is then instilled through the catheter into your bladder. The catheter is then removed. You will need to hold your urine for 2 hours. Afterwards, you can urinate and the medication will drain out of your bladder.
The 3 chemotherapy drugs most commonly placed directly into the bladder are mitomycin (Mutamycin®), doxorubicin (Adriamycin®), and thiotepa (Thioplex®).
Studies have shown that those who had surgery (TURBT) and doxorubicin had a 20% lower reoccurrence of their tumor than those who had the surgery without the doxorubicin.
Chemotherapy drugs can affect normal cells as well as cancer cells as they travel throughout your body. Placing the chemotherapy drugs within the bladder reduces the possible side effects.
You should consider your urine toxic for 6 hours after each treatment.