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Standard treatment of advanced bladder cancer may incorporate surgery, radiation, and/or combination chemotherapy. Current combination chemotherapy regimens utilize 2 or more anti-cancer agents typically combined with either cisplatin or carboplatin Unfortunately, the majority of patients with advanced bladder cancer are not cured with current treatment regimens. In an ongoing attempt to improve the treatment of bladder cancer, physicians continue to evaluate newer anti-cancer agents. Paclitaxel and more recently gemcitabine ( Gemzar®) have been identified as new active chemotherapy agents for the treatment of bladder cancer.

Physicians in Canada evaluated Gemzar® for the treatment of advanced bladder cancer. The results of their study were reported in the Journal of Clinical Oncology. Forty-one patients who had not received prior treatment for metastatic bladder cancer were treated with Gemzar®. Nine patients experienced partial (6) or complete (3) disappearance of their cancer following treatment with Gemzar®.

Gemzar® is a promising new anti-cancer therapy for bladder cancer and will continue to be evaluated in combination with other active chemotherapy agents such as cisplatin, carboplatin, and paclitaxel with or without radiation therapy for the treatment of bladder cancer. ( Journal of Clinical Oncology, Vol 15, No 12, pp 3441-3445, 1997)

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