Home / gemcitabine bladder instillation protocol / Gemcitabine Bladder Therapy - UHN
Information for patients
Your doctor has decided that Gemcitabine therapy is the best therapy
for your bladder cancer.
Read this pamphlet to learn about:
? What it is
? How to prepare for it
? What to expect during therapy
? What to do when you get home
Toronto General Hospital Cystoscopy Clinic
2NU, Room 291
Toronto General Hospital
Phone: 416 340 3882
What is Gemcitabine bladder therapy?
Gemcitabine is a type of chemotherapy that is used in cancer treatment to
slow or stop the growth of cancer cells in your body.
This medication is put into the bladder using a catheter (tube).
How will I get Gemcitabine therapy?
You will get the therapy from a Registered Nurse in the Cystoscopy Unit.
1. Your nurse will place a small catheter (tube) into your bladder through
your urethra. This will empty any urine.
2. Your nurse will then put a small amount of Gemcitabine fluid into your
bladder through the catheter. This is called an instillation.
3. The nurse removes the catheter. You then hold the fluid in your bladder
for 1 hour. This may be hard for some patients. Try to hold it as long as
possible (but not longer than 2 hours).
4. You can go home right after the instillation.
How often will I need to have Gemcitabine therapy?
Your urologist (bladder specialist) will decide how many rounds of therapy
you will need.
About 6 weeks after each round of therapy you will have a test called a
cystoscopy. This test will check your bladder for any new tumours.
First round of therapy Once a week for 6 weeks
Rest period 2 to 3 months
Maintenance therapy (if needed) Once a week for 3 weeks or as
ordered by your doctor.
You may have this again, as often as
needed. There will be a rest period
after each treatment.
What should I do to get ready?
On the morning of your therapy:
1. Phone the Cystoscopy Department at 416 340 3882 for screening. You
will be asked a few questions to make sure your therapy can go ahead.
We use this screening for these reasons:
? We can order your medicine and have it ready when you arrive.
? We need to know if you have had any signs of infection, or a reaction
from your last treatment. If this happens, we may need to change your
therapy to another time.
If you do not phone in for your screening, your therapy will be delayed.
2. Do not drink for at least 4 hours before your therapy. This is to make
sure your bladder is not full. To keep your mouth moist, you can sip a
little liquid. You can eat that morning
3. Do not take any diuretic medicine (water pills) before your therapy.
You can take diuretic medicine 4 hours after your Gemcitabine therapy.
You can take other medicines before therapy with a sip of water,
How is gemcitabine used to treat bladder cancer?Gemcitabine is put directly into your bladder through a fine tube (catheter) to treat the entire lining of your bladder. This method is known as ‘instilling’. The treatment usually involves coming to hospital once a week for six weeks as an outpatient.
Title: Gemcitabine Bladder Therapy
Author: Patient Education and Engagement
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