Can radiation-induced lower urinary tract disease be ameliorated in patients treated for pelvic organ cancer: ICI-RS 2019?

Bladder Cancer

Bosch R, et al. Neurourol Urodyn 2020 - Review.


AIMS: This article reviews the clinical outcomes and basic science related to negative effects of radiotherapy (RT) on the lower urinary tract (LUT) when used to treat pelvic malignancies.

METHODS: The topic was discussed at the 2019 meeting of the International Consultation on Incontinence-Research Society during a "think tank" session and is summarized in the present article.

RESULTS: RT is associated with adverse effects on the LUT, which may occur during treatment or which can develop over decades posttreatment. Here, we summarize the incidence and extent of clinical symptoms associated with several modes of delivery of RT. RT impact on normal tissues including urethra, bladder, and ureters is discussed, and the underlying biology is examined. We discuss innovative in vivo methodologies to mimic RT in the laboratory and their potential use in the elucidation of mechanisms underlying radiation-associated pathophysiology. Finally, emerging questions that need to be addressed through further research are proposed.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that RT-induced negative effects on the LUT represent a significant clinical problem. Although this has been reduced with improved methods of delivery to spare normal tissue, we need to (a) discover better approaches to protect normal tissue and (b) develop effective treatments to reverse radiation damage.