21st Century Oncology unit RTR Urology is offering a new treatment using ‘blue light cystoscopy’ technology for bladder cancer patients.
The development will enable doctors to accurately diagnose and treat the cancer at Venice Regional Bayfront Health (VRBH) in Florida, US.
Typically, a bladder cancer diagnosis starts with laboratory tests to narrow down the source of symptoms. If cancer is suspected, the next steps may include office cystoscopy and urine cytology.
RTR Urology urologist Dr Carl Kutke said: “Bladder cancer is difficult to detect and is a complex disease with a high rate of recurrence.
“An inaccurate diagnosis can result in incomplete treatment, which may lead to serious complications and a lower chance of survival for patients with potentially aggressive tumours.
“Blue light cystoscopy represents an important advancement in diagnostic technology, enabling more accurate diagnosis of superficial non-muscle invasive bladder tumours compared to the standard technique.”
During the treatment process, the doctor instills a photosensitiser agent into the bladder through a catheter with blue light cystoscopy and waits at least one hour for the agent to be absorbed by the tumours.
Later on, the bladder lining will be observed with white light cystoscopy, followed by blue light cystoscopy.
Under blue light, the fluorescense agent cystoscopy makes abnormal cells in the bladder cancer glow bright pink, making it easier to view and remove the lesion completely.
The excised tissue will be then examined to determine if it is malignant.
RTR Urology’s new technology may help decrease the rate of progression from superficial to muscle invasive or metastatic bladder cancer.
Early signs of bladder cancer include blood in the urine in addition to changes in urination, including having to go more frequently or pain/burning.