Chemotherapy coupled with radiation therapy prevents bladder cancer survivors from going through the experience again, states a study.
The combination allows 67 percent of people to be free of the disease in their bladders two years after treatment as compared to 54 percent of people who receive radiation alone.
"The trial shows that this treatment offers improved control of cancer within the bladder with acceptable long-term side effects and is therefore a viable alternative to radical surgery in patients with muscle invasive bladder cancer," Nicholas James from the University of Birmingham, who led the trial alongside Dr Robert Huddart from the Institute of Cancer Research in the United Kingdom, said.
"This may shift the balance from surgery to chemo-radiotherapy as the primary treatment for many patients with invasive bladder cancer," he added.
Cure rates for advanced bladder cancer are generally poor, with only around 40 percent of those with this form of the disease living more than five years after diagnosis.
The most common treatment for advanced bladder cancer is the complete removal of the bladder, which compromises patient's normal urinary function.
The results showed that the combination of chemotherapy and radiation treatment reduced the long-term risk of recurrence of cancer within the bladder, while also preserving bladder function.
The findings will be presented at the plenary session of the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO), on November 1.