The effects and effectiveness of electromotive drug administration and chemohyperthermia for treating non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

External organisations

  • University of Birmingham


INTRODUCTION: Preliminary studies show that device assisted intravesical therapies appear more effective than passive diffusion intravesical therapy for the treatment of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) in specific settings, and phase III studies are now being conducted. Consequently, we have undertaken a non-systematic review with the objective of describing the scientific basis and mechanisms of action of electromotive drug administration (EMDA) and chemohyperthermia (CHT).

METHODS: PubMed, and the Cochrane Library were searched to source evidence for this non-systematic review. Randomised controlled trials, systematic reviews and meta-analyses were evaluated. Publications regarding the scientific basis and mechanisms of action of EMDA and CHT were identified, as well as clinical studies to date.

RESULTS: EMDA takes advantage of three phenomena: iontophoresis, electro-osmosis and electroporation. It has been found to reduce recurrence rates in NMIBC patients and has been proposed as an addition or alternative to bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) therapy in the treatment of high risk NMIBC. CHT improves the efficacy of mitomycin C by three mechanisms: tumour cell cytotoxicity, altered tumour blood flow and localised immune responses. Fewer studies have been conducted with CHT than with EMDA but they have demonstrated utility for increasing disease-free survival, especially in patients who have previously failed BCG therapy.

CONCLUSIONS: It is anticipated that EMDA and CHT will play important roles in the management of NMIBC in the future. Techniques of delivery should be standardised, and there is a need for more randomised controlled trials to evaluate the benefits of the treatments alongside quality of life and cost-effectiveness.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)415-9
Number of pages5
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2014