This means the chemo is given through a vein and right into your blood as an IV
(intravenously). The medicines travel through your blood to reach your whole body.
This means they may be able to kill cancer cells that have spread outside your
bladder. This type of chemo is used to treat bladder cancer that has spread beyond
your bladder. It may be given with radiation treatments.
Your healthcare provider may
decide on a certain medicine or combination of medicines based on the stage of the
cancer and your health history. There are many medicines that may be used for
systemic chemo for bladder cancer.
When chemo is given along with radiation, the most commonly used chemo medicines
When chemo is used by itself (without radiation), a combination of medicines is
often used to make it work better. The combinations used most often for bladder
Dose-dense methotrexate, vinblastine,
doxorubicin, and cisplatin (called DDMVAC)
Cisplatin, methotrexate, and vinblastine
Gemcitabine and cisplatin
- Gemcitabine and carboplatin
Carboplatin and paclitaxel
- Paclitaxel or docetaxel
Chemo is given in cycles. This reduces harm to healthy cells. Rest periods between
treatments give normal cells a chance to recover. Your healthcare provider will
decide if you need to get chemo daily, weekly, every few weeks, or monthly. Talk to
your provider about how long you'll get chemo and what you can expect.