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Bladder Cancer

Intravesical Treatments

With intravesical therapy, the doctor puts the drug directly into the bladder (through a catheter) rather than giving it by mouth or injecting it into a vein. This may be either immunotherapy, which causes the body’s own immune system to attack the cancer cells, or chemotherapy.
Medicines given this way mainly affect the cells lining the bladder, with little to no effect on cells elsewhere. This means that any cancer cells outside of the bladder lining, including those that have grown deeply into the bladder wall, are not treated. Drugs put into the bladder also can’t reach cancer cells in the kidneys, ureters, and urethra, or those that have spread to other organs.
For this reason, intravesical therapy is used only for non-invasive (stage 0) or minimally invasive (stage I) bladder cancers.