Bladder cancer: Clinical practice guidelines in oncology
Carcinoma, Transitional Cell
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
Urothelial tumors represent a spectrum of diseases with a range of prognosis. After a diagnosis is established at any point within the urothelial tract, the patient remains at risk for developing a new lesion at a different or the same location and at a similar or more advanced stage. Continued monitoring for recurrence is an essential part of management, because most recurrences are superficial and can be managed endoscopically. Within each category of disease, more refined methods to determine prognosis and guide management, based on molecular staging, are under development with the goal of optimizing the individual patient's likelihood of cure and chance for organ preservation. For patients with more extensive disease, newer treatments typically involve combined-modality approaches, using recently developed surgical procedures, or three-dimensional treatment planning for more precise delivery of radiation therapy. Although these are not appropriate in all cases, they do offer the promise of an improved quality of life and prolonged survival. Finally, within the category of metastatic disease, a number of new agents have been identified that appear to be superior to those currently considered to be standard therapies. Experts believe, therefore, that the treatment of urothelial tumors will evolve rapidly over the next few years, with improved outcomes for patients at all stages of disease.