Dennis Douda: 80,000 new cases of bladder cancer are diagnosed in the US each year. Mayo Clinic urologist Lance Mynderse says, because it is a cancer with a high risk of recurrence, ongoing vigilance in patients is essential.

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: It involves repeated x-rays. It involves repeated examinations with the cystoscopic instruments. It involves cytologic analysis of the urine. And this is done lifelong.

Dennis Douda: Minimally invasive cystoscopic procedures allow the inside of the bladder to be inspected with white light and a video camera. Suspicious tissue is removed. But Dr. Mynderse has reason to believe even the best doctors could be leaving cancer behind.

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: If one looks at the appearance of a tumor in the bladder, it is often a fleshy-colored tumor that very much mimics the rest of the lining of the bladder.

Dennis Douda: Mayo Clinic was the lead US site for a 28-facility study of an advancement on the procedure, fluorescent-guided cystoscopy. A photoreactive drug, Cysview, is placed in the bladder where it is absorbed by tumorous tissue. Add in special light filters and lenses...

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: And then you can flip a switch on the camera, it turns the light from white to blue. And that blue light interacts with the chemicals that have been bound to the tumor, and it fluoresces red.

Dennis Douda: Dr. Mynderse says that fluorescence allowed researchers to find more papillary, or protruding tumors, and 32% more cancer in the situ, meaning it could be removed before it spread. That translated into a nearly 20% drop in bladder cancer recurrence nine months after treatment and a seven to eight month average increase of living tumor-free four years after treatment.

Lance A. Mynderse, M.D.: If you can do something to interrupt that process, they are eternally grateful.

Dennis Douda: For Mayo Clinic, I am Dennis Douda.

From Mayo Clinic to your inbox

Sign up for free and stay up to date on research advancements, health tips, current health topics, and expertise on managing health. Click here for an email preview.

To provide you with the most relevant and helpful information, and understand which information is beneficial, we may combine your email and website usage information with other information we have about you. If you are a Mayo Clinic patient, this could include protected health information. If we combine this information with your protected health information, we will treat all of that information as protected health information and will only use or disclose that information as set forth in our notice of privacy practices. You may opt-out of email communications at any time by clicking on the unsubscribe link in the e-mail.

Sept. 20, 2022