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What are some treatment options for recurrent bladder cancer?

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Quick Answer

Combination chemotherapy and participation in clinical trials are treatment options for recurrent bladder cancer. Surgery and palliative therapy are treatment options, reports the National Cancer Institute.

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Combination therapy has proven successful in patients with recurrent bladder cancer and has completely resolved cancer in some patients. A randomized trial demonstrated that treatment with MVAC, a combination of chemotherapy drugs, improved survival rate in patients with recurrent bladder cancer, reports the National Cancer Institute. MVAC consists of the four drugs methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin and cisplatin, states the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

The recurrence of bladder cancer can be slowed with the use of MVAC. Additionally, it is beneficial for increasing life expectancy in bladder cancer patients if administered prior to surgery. However, this drug treatment can cause serious side effects. Combination therapy using the drugs gemcitabine and cisplatin for treating bladder cancer offers results similar to those obtained with the use of MVAC, but with decreased side effects, explains the American Society of Clinical Oncology.

As of 2015, clinical trials are underway to determine the most effective drug combinations for resolving recurrent bladder cancer. Typically, doctors recommend participation in clinical trials for patients with recurrent bladder cancer that has not responded to localized treatment, according to the American Society of Clinical Oncology. Additionally, patients with recurrent bladder cancer involving tumors are commonly treated with palliative radiation therapy or surgery, states the National Cancer Institute.

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