Reducing bladder tumor recurrence with narrow band imaging

Researchers from the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom have found that utilization of narrow band imaging can substantially reduce the risk of recurrence from bladder cancer, according to results of a new study published in European Urology.

With approximately 430,000 new cases diagnosed each year, bladder cancer is the ninth most common cancer in the world, according to statistics from the World Cancer Research Fund.

The traditional treatment method is through resection, but tumor recurrence following surgery is common due to uncertainty as to whether cancerous tissues have been completely removed. Emerging treatments, including surgery guided by narrow band imaging, could help fix the problem and reduce tumor recurrence.

University researchers, in coordination with the clinical research office of the Endourological Society, compared two groups of bladder cancer patients who had to undergo bladder tumor resection surgery: low-risk patients who underwent image-guided surgery using narrow band imaging, and patient who underwent conventional bladder tumor surgery.

Their results showed that only 5.6 percent of patients in the narrow band imaging surgery group had tumor recurrence after a year following surgery, while 27 percent of those who had conventional resection had recurrence of bladder tumors.

"Narrow band imaging makes it easier to identify bladder tumors,” said researcher Richard Bryan in a university press release. “It can detect small bladder tumors that might otherwise by overlooked by more conventional 'white light' cystoscopy."