UCLA researchers have designed a device that delivers local radiation to the bladder lumen limiting harmful off-target effects. This technology enables the use of radiotherapy as a safe and effective treatment for early stage bladder cancer patients.
Bladder cancer is the second most common genitourinary malignancy in the US with 74,000 new cases diagnosed per year. Some 70% of these cases present as early-stage disease. The current treatment paradigm consists of transurethral resection with or without subsequent intra-bladder immunotherapy. Unfortunately, the rate of recurrence is significant, and often occurring in other parts of the bladder. Therefore, many patients eventually undergo full surgical removal of the bladder. Clinical trials over the past decades have demonstrated the safety and efficacy of bladder conservation therapy with concurrent chemoradiotherapy. However, this type of treatment is seldom used for early-stage disease due to concerns over toxicity and off-target effects. Thus, a device that delivers radiation to the bladder lumen while limiting exposure to the rest of the body is needed to support widespread use of radiotherapy as an effective treatment for early-stage bladder cancer.
UCLA researchers have developed a device capable of delivering local radiation to the bladder lumen while essentially eliminating radiation exposure to the rest of the body. The device significantly reduces the potential for overtreatment or misses in an organ whose size, shape, and location change constantly. Furthermore, the device may be modified to accommodate concurrent administration of other types of therapy such as hyperthermia, chemotherapy, and immunotherapy. Despite being an effective therapy, radiotherapy has thus far been rarely used to treat early-stage bladder cancer. By facilitating localized radiation treatment, this device has the potential to shift treatment paradigms and enable use of brachytherapy as an effective treatment for early-stage bladder cancer.
Device development is ongoing.
bladder cancer, radiotherapy, radiation, treatment, brachytherapy, genitourinary, device, balloon applicator, seed radiation