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In the 1980s, the Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center helped pioneer a bladder-sparing technique for patients whose cancer had penetrated the bladder’s muscle wall. Our Claire & John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers still remains one of the few centers that can preserve bladders because of the high degree of collaboration among our specialists.
We treat hundreds of genitourinary cancers every year, including rare and complex cancers. You will benefit from our extensive experience in diagnosing and treating forms of bladder cancer like yours.
The cornerstone of our approach is communication among patients, family members and medical specialists. We have pioneered bladder cancer diagnosis and treatment approaches that include:
Correct diagnosis and staging of your cancer is critical to developing the right treatment plan. Our highly sub-specialized pathologists work exclusively with genitourinary cancers. They are familiar with genetic “tumor markers” that can help pinpoint treatment.
Our diagnostic experts are aided by the most advanced imaging technology, including nanoparticle-enhanced MRI, an imaging technology developed here that can find cancerous lymph nodes missed by biopsies. This expertise translates into faster, more precise diagnoses, providing the foundation for the most effective treatment.
Your medical oncologist will determine which therapies will be most successful at treating your cancer. Our patients have access to traditional and innovative approaches that have demonstrated effectiveness against early and advanced stages of bladder cancers, as well as support programs to help cope with side effects
For appropriately selected patients, we offer novel bladder preserving strategies that combine transurethral resection, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Our surgical oncologists sub-specialize in the treatment of genitourinary cancers and are recognized worldwide for their organ-sparing techniques. Many of our patients are candidates for minimally invasive surgical procedures we helped pioneer and can even be treated as outpatients with only local anesthesia and light sedation.
We perform a large number of these procedures annually. Studies have shown patients outcomes improve when they are treated in facilities where similar procedures are regularly performed.
Our experienced radiation oncology team carefully chooses precise and safe techniques, including 3-dimensional conformal radiation and intensity modulated radiation therapy. Learn more about radiation therapy.
New patients are generally seen within a week of referral. At your first appointment, you will meet the genitourinary cancer specialists who will be involved in your care, including:
In addition, you may also see:
Matthew R. Smith, MD, PhDDirector, Genitourinary Malignancies Program
See the complete team list treating Bladder Cancer
The bladder is a triangle-shaped, hollow organ that is located in the lower abdomen. The bladder stores urine. Cancer that begins in the tissues of the bladder is called bladder cancer.
Types of bladder cancer include:
A diagnosis of bladder cancer may be made through tests and procedures including:
Bladder surgery is one option for treating bladder cancer. Examples include:
Options for nonsurgical treatment of bladder cancer include:
Learn more about bladder cancer on our patient education page.
Clinical trials are research studies of new drugs, new combinations of drugs or already approved drugs being studied to treat patients in new/different ways. They may include new drug doses or new ways (schedules) to give the drugs. Clinical trials are run under strict guidelines. Their purpose is to help find out whether new cancer treatments are safe and effective or better than the standard (current) treatment. At Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, there are several clinical trials open for the treatment of bladder cancer that use the latest in cancer treatments.
Cancer is increasingly becoming a disease in which the genetic make-up of each individual cancer drives therapy. The Center for Genitourinary Cancers also has access to clinical trials involving these targeted therapy approaches.
Find listings of our current Bladder Cancer Clinical Trials
Find listings of our current Bladder Cancer Targeted Therapy Trials
The Cancer Center also offers the Lazarex-MGH Cancer Care Equity Program, which strives to promote awareness about and access to cancer clinical trials through community outreach and education, financial assistance, and patient navigation. Click here to find out more about this program.
If you have any questions or would like to speak with one of our doctors, please call the Claire and John Bertucci Center for Genitourinary Cancers at (617) 724-4000.
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