Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

Intravesical Chemotherapy and Chemohyperthermia in Non-Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer; An Overview on Drug Administration Technologies and Pharmacokinetics

[ Vol. 18 , Issue. 7 ]


F. Campodonico*, S. Di Stasi , G. M. Lev, C. Terrone, L. Bongiovanni, F. Mattioli, V. Pagliarulo and C. Introini   Pages 657 - 665 ( 9 )


Background: Tumor recurrence is the most expected clinical event after the resection of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, depending on histological findings of the initial lesion. In patients with low and intermediate risk of disease, the intravesical instillation of chemotherapy agents is recommended as a standard treatment to reduce recurrences.

Methods: A comprehensive review covering various aspects of different treatments with intravesical drugs is presented.

Results: Drugs may be instilled into the bladder starting with a single, ‘early’ postoperative administration or, after tumor resection with adjuvant intent or, before tumor resection under a neo-adjuvant regimen. Both latter protocols would consist of weekly treatments followed by monthly maintenance treatments. Different methods of administering drugs intravesically have been proposed to enhance the depth of drug penetration and its absorption into the bladder wall thus increasing the rate of drug-DNA reaction. These device-assisted therapies therefore have set a goal to potentiate the drug’s effect and efficaciousness. The Radiofrequency-Induced Thermochemotherapeutic Effect (RITE) and the Electromotive-Drug Administration (EMDA) are the two most relevant modalities used to increase the activity of intravesical chemotherapy. Despite the widely adopted international guidelines’ recommendations, and recent clinical trials of device-assisted chemotherapy instillations showing markedly enhanced recurrence-free survival compared even to the standard of care, clinicians and pharmacologists are not familiar with the in-depth physical aspects, pharmacokinetics and systemic absorption of chemotherapeutic drugs following their intravesical administration.

Conclusion: Knowledge of drug diffusion mechanisms into the tissue and cellular cytoplasm following bladder instillation is a key to understand the safety profile and clinical activity of chemotherapy.


Intravesical chemotherapy, pharmacokinetics, mitomycin, hyperthermia, RITE, electromotive drug administration, chemohyperthermia, radiofrequency.


Dept. of Abdominal Surgery, Urology Unit, Galliera Hospital, Genoa, Dept of Surgery and Experimental Medicine, Tor Vergata University, Rome, Urology Division, Medical Enterprises Group, Amstelveen, Division of Urology, IRCCS S Martino University Hospital-IST National Cancer Research Institute, Genoa, Urology Unit, Umberto I Hospital, Syracuse, Dept of Internal Medicine, Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, University of Genoa, Genoa, Dept of Emergency and Organ Transplantation, University of Bari, Bari, Dept of Abdominal Surgery, Urology Unit, Galliera Hospital, Genoa

Graphical Abstract:

Read Full-Text article