New Technology Available to Assist in the Detection of Bladder Cancer

Washington, DC (April 10) – The George Washington University Hospital is the only healthcare provider in the District of Columbia to offer a new diagnostic tool for bladder cancer called Blue Light Cystoscopy. This technology assists urologists in identifying more bladder tumors that are difficult to see while using conventional white light cystoscopy.

“In the United States, bladder cancer ranks as the fourth most common cancer and the seventh leading cause of cancer deaths among men in the United States,” said Compton Benjamin, M.D., PhD, assistant professor of urology and clinical director of urologic oncology at the George Washington University Hospital. “Blue Light Cystoscopy makes it much easier to see tumors that previously would have gone undetected. The more cancer that we can remove at earlier stages, the lower the chance of recurrence.”

Cysview (hexaminolevulinate HCl) is an optical imaging agent that accumulates in tumor cells of the bladder and glows pink under blue light, making them easily discernible from healthy bladder tissue. It is designed to detect papillary cancer of the bladder in patients with known or suspected bladder cancer based on routine white light cystoscopy. The solution, marketed as Hexvix in Europe and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2010, is used with the Karl Storz D-Light C Photodynamic Diagnostic (PDD) system, which includes both white and blue light cystoscopy settings.

“The availability of Blue Light Cystoscopy is in keeping with GW Hospital’s commitment to advancing care for our patients in and around the Nation’s Capital with the best tools available," said Thomas Jarrett, M.D., Chairman of the Urology Department at GW Hospital. “With Cysview, identifying bladder cancer means improved visibility of the tumor, resulting in the ability to remove the entire tumor, thus preventing tumor recurrence. Blue light technology helps turn cancerous cells fluorescent—taking us one step further in the cure. This technology adds another dimension to our urologic oncology program.”

The National Cancer Institute estimates that more than 74,690 new cases of bladder cancer will be diagnosed in 2014, while roughly 15,580 people will die from the disease.

"Providing advanced, high quality patient care is a critical component at GW Hospital,” said Barry Wolfman, CEO of GW Hospital. “We pride ourselves on innovation and collaboration. Our physicians and staff are always looking for new ways to help patients. Blue Light Cystoscopy is a prime example of our commitment to returning patients to their normal routines as quickly as possible.”

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