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BCG shortage

4 months 4 days ago #57792 by Momar
That is my understanding. Good explanation. Thank you.

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4 months 4 days ago #57791 by Regor
It's hard to read medical journals and articles that seem to conflict with each other. Even Doctors give different names for some of the same terms.

BCG: My understanding of BCG, is that it is used for BC as an Immunotherapy, applied directly into the bladder, and it forces the bodies own immune system to attack the cancer cells.

Gemcitabine: Is a Chemo, that yes, can be used for BC as an Immunotherapy, applied directly into the bladder, however, Gemcitabine attacks the cancers cells themselves, and doesn't rely on the bodies immune system to do the attacking.

Is this correct?

CIS DX Jan 2019

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4 months 5 days ago #57779 by Sharkref
Cleveland Clinic is starting to show the shortage as well. Had 1 BCG treatment last week and #2 will be on June 14, 2019. After that, there may be no more in Cleveland Clinic. We are feeling desperate for the upcoming BCG treatments and do not know where to go to get it either.

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4 months 1 week ago #57739 by sara.anne
There is a bit of confusion here between post operative treatment where something like mitomycin or gemcitabine is given as a wash immediately after the TURB and treatment done several weeks afterward when the drug is instilled into the bladder and left for several hours. There is also a difference in dose. This quote refers to the former.

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
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4 months 1 week ago #57738 by Momar
The most common types of postoperative intravesical chemotherapy used to treat NMIBC are gemcitabine and mitomycin C, Dr. Ristau says. "These drugs have been shown to reduce recurrences of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer when given in the immediate postoperative setting," he said. One study found a 12 percent reduction in the risk of recurrence in patients treated with gemcitabine. Other studies have found treatment with mitomycin C reduces the risk of recurrence by 10-15 percent.

://www.urologyhealth.org/

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4 months 1 week ago #57737 by sara.anne
First, Gemcitibine is not being used as "chemo." It is being used just like BCG to stimulate the immune system in the bladder itself. You would not want a chemical of any kind instilled into the bladder while there still is an open wound that hasn't quite healed. That would be quite dangerous. This is why there is usually about a month's wait between the TURB (biopsy) and intravesical treatment such as this.

Chemotherapy is when the drug(s) are given systemically, usually via an intravenous injection or infusion, and affect the entire body. This is done when the cancer has spread outside the initial organ. In your husband's case the cancer is still confined to the bladder so that whatever drug is administered (BCG or Gemcitibine) can be used as a "wash" at a stronger concentration directly on the cancer.

Sara Anne

Diagnosis 2-08 Small papillary TCC; CIS
BCG; BCG maintenance
Vice-President, American Bladder Cancer Society
Forum Moderator

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