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An alternative to repetitive TURB's - Synergo

11 years 9 months ago - 10 years 5 months ago #14244 by egtmcsq

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11 years 9 months ago #14241 by Groover
I am 43 years old, and was diagnosed with Ta-G2 bladder cancer 2.5 years ago. Despite 4 TURBS followed by an infusion of Mitomycin, and a course x6 BCG's, very small Ta-G2 bladder tumors continue to reoccur, and have been found during virtually all of my subsequent cystoscopies.

During my last consultation I was offered Synergo treatment. I jumped at the chance. The treatment is still only available within a few leading hospitals in a small number of countries in Europe - to my knowledge it's not offered in the US yet. I live in Belgium.

Synergo treatment involves a repetitive infusion of Mitomycine, whilst simultaneously heating the interior bladder wall using microwaves. The application of heat (maintained at 43C) improves the effeciency of the Mitomycine, and allows the drug to penetrate deep into the entire bladder wall. The temperature is constantly monitored by small probes at the end of the special catheter, and controlled by a special machine. The Mitomycine is repeatedly circulated in the bladder for a period of one hour, with a a fresh dose of Mito being instilled after the first 30 minutes.

Another advantage over Synergo over a standard TURB is that heat/Mito combination is benefitial to the whole bladder, rather than with a standard TURB where the focus is to remove the identified tumor, and perhaps a standard infusion of Mito afterwards. In many cases a removal of a cancer during TURB often leaves residual tumour cells at the base of the resected lesions.

I had my first Synergo treatment last Monday, I will have three more at weekly intervals. The treatment was performed at The Gasthuisberg University Hospital in Leuven, Belgium. Whilst enthuisiastic to have the opportunity to receive this treatment, I was a little apprehensive about the level of discomfort/pain during the procedure! The Synergo treatment was performed in a fully equipped surgical theatre. Prior to be wheeled in, I was intravenously administered Paracetamol, and Buscopan to help with eventual cramps and bladder spasms. The insertion of the catheter was bearable, the same circumference of a cystoscope, though a little less supple. I experienced a sensation of localised heat, though apart from the nuisance of the catheter having to remain in the bladder, the treatment was remarkably painless.

Here for further information, and encouraging clinical results following Synergo treatments:

http://blcwebcafe.org/synergoworkshop4.asp
http://www.medical-enterprises.com/treatment.html, (good info and diagrams)
http://annonc.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/content/full/16/4/585

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