Bacillus Calmette-Guerin, or BCG, therapy, is the most effective intravesical immunotherapy treatment for bladder cancer, states the American Cancer Society. It is ideal for people who are at high or medium risk for cancer recurrence, explains WebMD.
BCG is a weakened form of the tuberculosis virus, according to PubMed. In the treatment of bladder cancer, BCG works as a biological response modifier, says Chemocare.com. It triggers the immune system to indirectly attack the tumors by triggering an inflammation reaction. This reaction sends cytokines and white blood cells to the bladder where they fight against the tumor. The cytokines alter the environment in the bladder to inhibit future growth and progression of tumors. Studies show that BCG therapy slows down cancer growth, delays the recurrence of bladder cancer and helps people with bladder cancer live longer, says WebMD.