Research and Development

Bladder cancer is a common disease worldwide with 12 million new cases annually, among them 104.400 new reported cases for Europe in 2006. The incidence in Germany is 38 per 100.000 men with 30 male and 8 female cases. Approximately 80% of bladder cancer is non-muscle invasive (NMIBC) but is characterised through a high potential of recurrence.

The probability of a disease progression is rather low, but in 83% of unsuccessfully treated carcinoma in situ (CIS) invasive bladder cancer will develop. With the photodynamic diagnosis (PDD or fluorescence cystoscopy) a new diagnostic standard using a photosensitizer has been developed and is recommended for all initial transurethral bladder tumour resections and for patients with positive urine cytology but negative white light cystoscopy since 2006. Transurethral tumour resection (TUR-B) and usually a second TUR-B 2 to 6 weeks after the primary surgery is recommended as golden standard.

Since bladder tumours bear a high risk for local recurrence adjuvant intravesical chemotherapy or immunotherapy and a subsequent continuous follow-up is recommended. Photodynamic therapy (PDT) can be evolved as treatment option in urology for patients with NMIBC and CIS after failed repeated TUR-B and/or intravesical immunotherapy (BCG) or chemotherapy (MMC). 

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