Purpose of review
Patients with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) have a high risk of recurrent tumors, even in spite of contemporary guideline recommended therapy. Follow-up recommendations are also clear (cystoscopy with cytology and upper urinary tract imaging in high-risk patients), but frequency and duration of follow-up are well defined. However, recent developments in follow-up tools might be of interest for clinical practice.
Enhanced endoscopy improves detection and treatment of recurrences, and it can help in tailoring follow-up. However, it remains an invasive procedure. Most recently cystoscopy augmented with artificial intelligence has shown some promising results. Active surveillance, frequently done in prostate cancer patients, is also gaining attention in NMIBC follow-up. Finally markers are being studied and launched. Although not recommended by guidelines, and not used in clinical practice, recent studies have shown marker combinations with very high negative predictive values for (high risk) recurrences in follow-up of NMIBC patients.
New tools for follow-up such as enhanced cystoscopy and urinary markers might help to individualize follow-up, which will result in decreasing patient discomfort, workload and costs while quality of care is maintained.