Treatment Matrix

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Combined-modality therapy (CMT)


Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (includes T2 tumors) , Locally Advanced (includes T3 tumors)

Treatment Category:

Bladder preservation


Bladder preservation

Suitable for:
  • Suitable for people with early-stage bladder cancer in cases where the tumor can be completely removed by TURBT
  • Also suitable for people who aren’t healthy enough to undergo surgery to remove the bladder (radical cystectomy), or people who want to avoid surgery to remove the bladder if possible
How it works:
  • A TURBT procedure is used to remove the tumor from the bladder
  • Radiation therapy is then given in combination with chemotherapy to kill any remaining cancer cells. Using these together makes the cancer cells more sensitive to the radiation, making this more effective than if used alone
  • Radiation therapy is given by aiming beams of radiation at the tumor site, to damage DNA inside the cells. This stops cancer cells from growing and dividing
How it is typically used:
  • Often used as the main therapy for people who can’t have surgery to remove the bladder (radical cystectomy)
  • This approach is also favored by people who want to prioritize keeping their bladder if possible
How it is administered:
  • Chemotherapy is administered directly into a vein
  • Radiation beams are administered from a source outside of the body
Side effects:
  • Skin changes such as redness and blistering
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Burning or pain when you urinate, needing to urinate often, blood in urine
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in stool
  • Fatigue
  • Easy bruising or bleeding
  • Increased risk of infection

Disclaimer: Information and services provided by the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network (BCAN) are for informational purposes only. The information and services are not intended to be substitutes for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are ill, or suspect that you are ill, seek professional medical attention immediately! BCAN does not recommend or endorse any specific physicians, treatments, procedures or products even though they may be mentioned on this site.

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