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Minerva Urologica e Nefrologica 2010 June;62(2):133-44


language: English

Mitomycin C for the treatment of bladder cancer

Volpe A., Racioppi M., D’Agostino D., Cappa E., Filianoti A., Bassi P. F.

Department of Urology, Catholic University, Rome, Italy


Bladder cancer is a heterogeneous disease: approximately 75% of its forms are non muscle invasive neoplasms. Standard treatment for non muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) consists of complete transurethral resection (TURB) of all visible lesions. Recurrence rates following TURB and intravesical chemoprophylaxis seem to decrease to 25-50% in 2 years of follow-up. The aim of the present paper is to review findings from the most relevant studies and evaluate the potentials of mitomycin C (MMC) in the treatment of non muscle invasive bladder cancer. Studies were identified by searching MEDLINE® and Pubmed® databases up to 2010 using both medical subject heading (Mesh) and a free text strategy with the name of known individual chemotherapeutic drug and the following key words: “non muscle-invasive bladder cancer”, “intravesical therapy”, “Mitomycin C”, “Device Therapy”. At the end of our research in literature we selected 66 articles. From literature is clear that in case of low or intermediate risk superficial bladder cancer, MMC is one of the most used agents with limited side effects. In fact MMC has a high molecular weight and is relatively hydrophobic, resulting in less sistemic absorption. Regimens are based on weekly instillations but despite many studies there is not universal consensus on timing and duration of therapy. MMC early istillation seems effective in preventing tumour recurrence in low risk non muscle invasive neoplasms. MMC maintenance chemotherapy continue to be considered effective in reducing tumour recurrence rate in low and intermediate risk tumours. It is known in literature that the lack of response to intravesical chemotherapy in patients with non muscle invasive bladder cancer is due to two factors: lack of sensitivity of the neoplasm to intravesical chemotherapy and inadequate drug delivery to the tumour. In order to resolve these limitations in the last years MMC, in many centers, is used with device assisted therapies or with new administration scheme.

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