Intravesical radiofrequency-induced hyperthermia combined with chemotherapy for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer

Although many treatment modalities and schedules for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) exist, all yet prove to have limitations. Therefore the search for new forms of therapy continues. One of these forms consists of combining intravesical chemotherapy, typically mitomycin C (MMC), with hyperthermia achieved by a microwave-applicator.

We aimed to review the current status of intravesical radiofrequency (RF) induced chemohyperthermia (CHT) for NMIBC with regard to efficacy, adverse-events (AEs) and its future perspective. A search for RF-induced CHT in MEDLINE, Embase, Cochrane and databases was performed. Relevant conference abstracts were searched for manually. If applicable, experts on the area were consulted. Papers were selected based on abstract and title. A table of newly published clinical trials since 2011 was constructed. No meta-analysis could be performed based on these new papers. Efficacy proved to be better for RF-induced CHT compared to both MMC alone and bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) instillations, with the latter being based on just one abstract of a randomised controlled trial. The AE rate in CHT is higher compared to MMC instillation, but is similar compared to BCG, albeit different in the type of AE. In almost all studies no severe AEs are reported. Although heterogeneity in methodology exists, RF-induced CHT seems promising. However, alternative methods of applying hyperthermia are starting to present their first results, imposing as effective options too. Intravesical RF-induced CHT may become an alternative for BCG instillation, and possibly for cystectomy, although further level 1 evidence is required for both reliable and reproducible data on efficacy and adverse events.

International journal of hyperthermia : the official journal of European Society for Hyperthermic Oncology, North American Hyperthermia Group. 2016 Feb 24 [Epub ahead of print]

Hans van Valenberg, Renzo Colombo, Fred Witjes

a Department of Urology , Radboud University Medical Centre , Nijmegen , Netherlands and., b Department of Urology , University 'Vita-Salute' San Raffaele , Milan , Italy., a Department of Urology , Radboud University Medical Centre , Nijmegen , Netherlands and.