Blue Light Cystoscopy
What is Blue Light Cystoscopy?
An important advance in bladder tumor detection involves the use of a special chemical (Cysview®) that can be taken up by tumors. Then, with the use of special equipment, the tumor cells will fluoresce or appear as bright blue tissue in the bladder. This can take a small tumor that is difficult to see and make it much more obvious. This ‘blue light’ technique has been used and studied in Europe for some time, and has only recently been approved for use in the United States. So it’s already a proven technique that is now gaining use in the United States.
There are several strong benefits from this process. By using the blue light technique, the rates of bladder tumor recurrence are lower, allowing patients to avoid invasive procedures and potentially reduce the frequency of their bladder checks. This should reduce physical discomfort and anxiety for our patients. A recent study of the old white light technique versus the newer blue light technique found the average time to a bladder tumor recurrence was seven months longer with the blue light.
Another advantage for patients is that the blue light technology is able to identify high risk tumors in addition to low risk tumors. High-risk non-invasive cancer such as carcinoma-in-situ is important since it can progress over time and invade the bladder wall. However, it isn’t always easy to see or to distinguish from other non-cancerous conditions of the bladder. Early detection of this type of tumor means that we can begin treatment quicker, when there’s the greatest chance for a cure.
Cysview is an FDA approved optical imaging agent.