What’s to Know About Metastatic Bladder Cancer

What is metastatic bladder cancer?

First of all, you need to know what bladder cancer is. Bladder cancer means that the cells inside your bladder grow abnormally and then form a tumor. Metastatic bladder cancer usually refers to the stage 4 bladder cancer. It means that bladder cancer cells have spread to other organs or tissues, such as the wall of abdomen, lung, liver and lymph nodes.

What is the prognosis for metastatic bladder cancer?

The prognosis for metastatic bladder cancer is poor. Since metastatic bladder cancer is the most advanced form of bladder cancer, only 15% of metastatic bladder cancer patients can live 5 years after diagnosis.

What is the treatment for metastatic bladder cancer?

The cancer cells have spread to other parts of your body and surgeries can’t remove all the tumors. So, metastatic bladder cancer is often treated with chemotherapy and immunotherapy.


Chemotherapy uses drugs to kill cancer cells. The common chemo drugs may include:

  • Gemcitabine and cisplatin (GC).
  • Paclitaxel, gemcitabine, and cisplatin (PGC).
  • Cisplatin, methotrexate, and vinblastine (CMV).
  • Methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin (Adriamycin), and cisplatin (MVAC).

For people with kidneys damage, the chemo drugs are different, including:

  • Carboplatin.
  • Gemcitabine.
  • Paclitaxel.
  • Docetaxel.


Immunotherapy can help your immune system recognize cancer cells and fight them. Up to now, the drugs that are used in this treatment include:

  • Atezolizumab (Tecentriq).
  • Nivolumab (Opdivo).

Generally, metastatic bladder cancer can’t be treated with chemotherapy or immunotherapy alone. Doctors often combine these treatments with surgery and radiation therapy to increase the possibility of a cure.

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* The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.