Unmet Needs in NMIBC Management

Standard methods are improved by new complementary and transformative approaches.

While there are many existing methods of detecting and treating NMIBC, there remain high unmet needs in the area, particularly when it comes to improving early detection and management of the disease as well as providing new treatment options for advanced cancer.

Approaches to testing for bladder cancer

The way that early signs of possible bladder cancer are noticed are:

Patients' symptoms

Patients themselves may be aware of abnormalities that could be signs of bladder cancer. These signs are usually the trigger for employing more technical levels of detection. Learn more about the signs that patients should look out for.

  • Urine analyses: Tests for blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Urine cytology: A visual check of urine sample by a doctor, using a microscope, to see how the cells look and behave
  • Urine tumor marker tests: There are many new tests available and under development that can identify markers in urine which may be signs of bladder cancer.

Today, none of these tests alone can replace cystoscopy, but they can be a valuable support in decision making. There is a lot of research ongoing to develop reliable tests, so that at least some of the cystoscopies can be replaced. This would mean less burden for the patients and less burden on the health care resources.


A tube with a light source and a camera is inserted into the bladder via the urethra to allow the doctor to inspect for signs of cancer cells (lesions).


Samples of tissue taken from the bladder are inspected in a lab by a pathologist to determine if the cells are cancerous.


The diagnosis of bladder cancer may be supported by radiological imaging, like CT scans, MRI, ultrasound or visualisation of the urine flow from the kidneys to the bladder. The wide range of tests applied to diagnose bladder cancer reflects the complexity and importance of getting a reliable diagnosis. Usually, a diagnosis of bladder cancer is made after combining multiple tests, which together provide a confirmation of the presence of cancer as well as the degree/stage of its development.

The outcome of these tests helps the medical team to define which treatment options are relevant for the patient.

Approaches to treating non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

The initial treatment for most bladder cancer is an endoscopic surgical procedure with removal of tumor tissue, referred to as transurethral resection of bladder tumor, TURBT. Frequently, the surgical procedure is followed by local chemo-or immunotherapy in the bladder. In some cases, removal of the entire bladder, cystectomy, will be necessary. Some patients will also be offered radiation therapy or systemic chemo- or immunotherapy.

Photocure has developed and commercialized Hexvix®/Cysview®, based on the Photocure Technology® platform, for the detection and management of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. Hexvix blue light fluorescence cystoscopy is indicated as adjunct to standard white light cystoscopy to contribute to the diagnosis and management of bladder cancer in patients with known or high suspicion of bladder cancer. Learn more about Photocure's innovative bladder cancer products.