Advancements in Imaging Techniques Allow Physicians to Better Manage Bladder Cancer
In the past few decades, there has been a considerable decline in the mortality rate related to bladder cancer. This, researchers speculate, may be associated with a reduction in smoking, advances in treatment and enhancements in bladder cancer diagnosis. Additionally, new therapies and more information about this disease have facilitated a change in this field, which allows health practitioners to have a better understanding of the ailment, thus saving more lives.
However, bladder cancer is still among the most common cancers in the Unites States and also the most expensive, with regard to cancer care. The majority of diagnosed bladder cancers are urothelial carcinomas, which are nonmuscle invasive. Sometimes though, carcinomas present as muscle invasive.
This cancer type is usually diagnosed after a hematuria workup, which encompasses cystoscopy and CT urography. Last year, the American Urologic Association updated the microscopic hematuria workup, adding a more risk-based approach.
This type of cancer is usually staged and confirmed by transurethral resection of a bladder tumor. Urologists usually use CT urography, which is an imaging technique, when performing bladder cancer workups. The TNM staging system by the American Joint Committee on Cancer is commonly used during staging. One of the primary objectives in staging is to determine the absence or presence of muscle invasion by a bladder tumor, which may affect the disease’s prognosis as well as its management.
Researchers have found that males have a higher chance of developing bladder cancer, noting that 73 is the median age at diagnosis. While other risk factors such as gene mutations, congenital bladder abnormalities, chronic bladder infections and irritations, pelvic radiation and occupational and environmental exposures have been linked to bladder cancer, smoking is the most prominent risk factor and is associated with at least half of all bladder cancers.
Treatments for the disease are evolving rapidly with the use of inhibitors such as PD-1 (programmed cell death protein 1) and PD-L1 (particularly programmed death ligand 1), which are immune checkpoint inhibitors. In addition, advancements in reporting and standardized imaging systems and imaging techniques are allowing physicians to better manage this ailment. For instance, multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) for local staging in bladder cancer has become popular among physicians because of the MRI’s superior soft-tissue contrast.
A meta-analysis and systematic review conducted recently that looked into multiparametric MRI’s diagnostic accuracy found that it had an 88% specificity and a 92% high pooled sensitivity. Furthermore, the Vesicle Imaging Reporting and Data System (VI-RADS), which was designed in 2018, was found to have a 77% to 91% specificity range and a 76% to 95% sensitivity range.
Companies such as Imagin Medical Inc. (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF), which are engaged in advancing bladder cancer imaging to the next level, have contributed towards improving patient outcomes.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Imagin Medical Inc. (CSE: IME) (OTCQB: IMEXF) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/IMEXF