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A 35-year-old member asked:

Is bcg treatment for bladder cancer the same as chemotherapy?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Moez Khorsandi
Urology 28 years experience
No: Treatment with BCG is a form of localized immunotherapy for bladder cancer but it is not chemotherapy. It involves placement of a medicine into the bladder that helps one's own immune system fight the cancer.
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 50 years experience
If a person is immunized with BCG (a modified Tuberculosis organism) re-exposure to BCG induces a local cellular immune response. If BCG is instilled into the bladder of person with bladder cancer, after prior sensitization to BCG, the local cellular immune response may destroy tumor cells.
May 25, 2012
Dr. Terence Chapman
Urologic Oncology 27 years experience
No: Bcg is a topical therapy that is essentially a type of immune based therapy applied only to bladder cells. Traditional chemotherapy is given intravenously and thus all body cells are exposed. Some chemotherapy drugs can be given topically like BCG and probably exert their effect via typical cancer cell-killing compared to immune stimulating effects of BCG similarly administered.

Similar questions

A 33-year-old member asked:

Is BCG better than chemotherapy for bladder cancer?

3 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Moez Khorsandi
Urology 28 years experience
Possibly: Bcg and chemotherapy are 2 entirely different forms of therapy for bladder cancer and for different types of bladder cancer. In the initial phase of treatment, BCG may be a very good initial treatment but depends on the type of cancer and stage. If the cancer recurs or is invading the muscle of the bladder, then BCG is generally not an option and the next form of therapy is surgery or chemotherapy.
Last updated Feb 23, 2020
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