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Blue Light Cystoscopy Significantly Decreases Recurrence Risk in Bladder Cancer Patients

By HospiMedica International staff writers
Posted on 23 Mar 2023
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Image: Bladder seen through a cystoscope under blue light (Photo courtesy of Photocure)
Image: Bladder seen through a cystoscope under blue light (Photo courtesy of Photocure)

Bladder cancer is a significant global health concern, ranking as the 8th most common cancer worldwide and the 5th most common in men. In 2020, there were 1,720,000 prevalent cases (5-year prevalence rate), 573,000 new cases, and over 200,000 deaths attributed to the disease. Men are more likely to be affected, accounting for approximately 75% of all cases. Bladder cancer also has a high recurrence rate, with up to 61% of patients experiencing recurrence within the first year and up to 78% over five years. Furthermore, it has the highest lifetime treatment costs per patient among all cancers, as patients often undergo multiple cystoscopies due to the high risk of recurrence. Improved diagnosis and management strategies for bladder cancer are urgently needed to benefit both patients and healthcare systems. Now, two new studies have highlighted the benefits of the Blue Light Cystoscopy (BLC) procedure in bladder cancer management.

Hexvix/Cysview from Photocure ASA (Oslo, Norway) is a drug that preferentially accumulates in cancer cells in the bladder, making them glow bright pink during BLC. BLC with Hexvix/Cysview, as compared to standard white light cystoscopy alone, improves tumor detection and results in more complete resection, less residual tumors, and better management. A new study using real-world data from the BLC with Cysview Registry, the largest non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer registry in the U.S., has demonstrated that using BLC considerably reduced the risk of recurrence and prolonged time to recurrence in comparison to White Light alone. Furthermore, BLC in patients with primary tumors extended time to recurrence as compared to recurrent patients, indicating that BLC’s earlier use could result in more favorable long-term outcomes in a real-world setting.

In addition, a pilot study of bladder cancer patients at the Aarhus University Hospital (Aarhus, Denmark) showed that BLC with Hexaminolevulinate (HAL) during trans-urethral resection of bladder tumors (TURBT) could influence the immune cell composition and tumor microenvironment. According to the preliminary findings, BLC-guided TURBT alters the expression of immune cells of both the adaptive and innate immune system in comparison to WLC-guided TURBT. However, further studies will be needed to validate the clinical impact of these observations.

“These new study results continue to emphasize the importance of performing a thorough TURBT using Blue Light Cystoscopy in the treatment of bladder cancer, and also demonstrate the strong interest from the scientific community to investigate Hexvix/Cysview's potential immunologic effects in bladder cancer management,” said Dan Schneider, President and CEO of Photocure. “BLC has been shown to clinically increase TURBT quality, more accurately stage disease for treatment, and enable better recurrence monitoring, supporting the long-term utility to help improve the lives of patients with bladder cancer.”

Related Links:
Photocure ASA
Aarhus University Hospital

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