(RxWiki News) Adding chemotherapy to radiation therapy for muscle-invasive bladder cancer allowed 67 percent of patients to be free of disease in their bladders two years after treatment.
The trial compared that figure to another in which only 54 percent of patients were free of the disease after receiving radiation alone.
"The trial shows that this treatment offers improved control of cancer within the bladder with acceptable long-term side effects and is therefore a viable alternative to radical surgery in patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer," said Nicholas James, M.D., an oncologist at University of Birmingham in Birmingham, England, who led the study with Robert Huddart, M.D., from the Institute of Cancer Research in the United Kingdom. "This may shift the balance from surgery to chemo-radiotherapy as the primary treatment for many patients with invasive bladder cancer."
458 invasive bladder cancer patients entered the trial between August 2001 to April 2008.
Bladder cancer strikes about 70,000 every year and affects men four times more than women and Caucasians two times more than African-Americans. Only about 40 percent of patients live more than five years after diagnosis.
In the U.S., the most common treatment for advanced bladder cancer has been to remove the bladder, which compromises urinary function in the patient.