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Ask the Doctor – Robert Torrey, M.D.

Q: What clinical advancements does Hoag offer for the treatment of bladder cancer?

A: Hoag’s Bladder Cancer Program offers the latest in diagnostic and treatment advances including enhanced diagnostic capabilities, using blue light cystoscopy and molecular profiling, and innovative and bladder-conserving treatment options using minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery immune-oncology clinical trials and more.

The program includes a multidisciplinary team of fellowship trained urologic oncologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists and medical oncologists, and experts from the precision medicine team who meet regularly to discuss patient management and care to maximize the outcome and quality of life for each patient.

Hoag uses blue light cystoscopy to detect and diagnose tumors in the bladder. The blue light scope uses a special imaging light that enhances the ability to inspect and find bladder tumors, and see their complete edges, ensuring a more complete resection. This earlier detection of bladder tumors allows us to treat before they become more aggressive. We also utilize molecular profiling to evaluate tumors to determine the aggressiveness of the tumor and the mutation associated with it to establish the best treatment plan.

For patients with the non-invasive disease, we offer an array of treatment options including a comprehensive panel of immunotherapies and chemotherapeutic agents, and access to clinical trials.

For patients with muscle-invasive bladder cancer, Hoag also offers clinical trials as well as minimally invasive robotic-assisted surgery for patients who may benefit. In this procedure a skilled bladder cancer surgeon can remove the bladder using minimally invasive techniques while also offering patients the full complement of reconstructive options for the urinary tract. This technique reduces recovery time and promotes an earlier return to normal function. Hoag is one of few hospitals in California to offer minimally invasive bladder reconstruction.

If you are concerned you may have bladder cancer or are looking for treatment options, it’s important to speak with your physician immediately.