Researchers at the Hopkins University at Texas, have enrolled 10 patients with early stage bladder cancer to a trial of the drug gemcitabine. A drug which is used for pancreatic and non-small cell lung cancer may also be applicable to bladder cancer. They administered it directly into the bladder, through a tube, and found that little of it escaped into the bloodstream.
This might be why there were few, if any, side effects linked to gemcitabine in this trial. Standard treatments for bladder cancer cause a number of adverse effects such as fever, pain on urination and reduced white blood cell counts. Gemcitabine works by blocking the growth of cancer cells. The scene is now set for larger trials of the new drug, which may offer much needed hope to those who have bladder cancer.