TJU using new imaging agent to detect bladder cancer

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Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia is the latest in a small number of medical centers nationwide to begin offering Cysview, a recently approved optical imaging agent, for the detection of papillary cancer of the bladder in patients with known or suspected bladder cancer.

The imaging agent is used to detect bladder cancer in individuals suspected or known to have lesions in the bladder, based on a prior cystoscopy. Cysview can illuminate the bladder during a routine cystoscopy with a white light setting, while a blue light setting induces fluorescence enabling physicians to detect lesions in the bladder.

"Bladder cancer is difficult to detect. A missed diagnosis can result in delayed or incomplete treatment, which may lead to serious complications and a lower chance of survival for patients with potentially aggressive tumors," Leonard Gomella, MD, chair of the department of urology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, said in a statement.

The most common initial sign of the disease is red-colored urine, which calls for the standard diagnostic procedures of urine cytology and white light cystoscopy. Although cytology provides specificity and sensitivity in detecting high-grade lesions, it provides no information on the location and extent of the disease. If the cells test positive for cancer, the next step is direct visual inspection of the urothelium and mucosa with white light cystoscopy to localize the tumors. Physicians perform transurethral resection on suspicious areas of the bladder, and then test the tissue samples to determine if they are malignant.