Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer- Integrative Chemotherapy

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Platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been shown to improve survival outcomes in muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients…

Dear Cancer Coach- my dad has stage 2 bladder cancer- it’s in the muscle now. First they said it would have to be removed along with the prostate. Then later another doctor said he has two options. Chemotherapy with 50% chance or remove it and wear a bag.

He decided on removal.

But last year he had 3 blocked arteries and had 3 stents put in. His heart doctor said he wouldn’t make it through the 5-6 hour surgery that he would die on the table.

There has to be something else besides chemo.


Dear BC Caregiver-

If I understand your email, your dad’s recommended therapy for stage 2 bladder cancer was either radical cystectomy (bladder removal) or chemotherapy. Your dad chose a radical cystectomy. 
Due to the condition of your dad’s heart function, his cardiologist says that your dad can’t have the operation for a radical cystectomy. 
You don’t like the chemotherapy option and are looking for other options/therapies for your dad’s bladder cancer? 
The key issue for you and your dad is what his oncologist meant when he talked about “chemo” as a therapy. The study linked below refers to two different chemo cocktails. As you will read, both cocktails are valid treatments for your dad’s cancer. However, there are different integrative therapies available depending on which chemo your dad has. 
An example of an integrative therapy would be a chemo drug called cisplatin and an antioxidant called curcumin. Integrative therapies can enhance the effectiveness of the chemo regimens (depending on which chemo you choose) as well as reduce the toxicity which is important for your dad. 
In other words, integrative therapies such as curcumin may be able to make chemotherapy a viable therapy option for your dad. That along with nutrition, anti-BC supplementation as well as other lifestyle therapies.
Scroll down the page to read about the most bioavailable curcumin formulas.
Let me know if you have any questions. 
David Emerson
  • Cancer Survivor
  • Cancer Coach
  • Director PeopleBeatingCancer

Recommended Reading:

Curcumin reduces cisplatin-induced neurotoxicity in NGF-differentiated PC12 cells.

“Cisplatin is a potent chemotherapeutic drug with activity against a wide variety of tumors, although it has notorious side effects. Cisplatin neurotoxicity is clinically evident in patients that have undergone a full course of chemotherapy and develop a peripheral neuropathy that may affect the treatment regimen and the patient’s qualify of life…

Our results indicate that curcumin does not compromise cisplatin’s anticancer activity. Curcumin neither suppressed p53 mRNA transcription nor protected tumor cells against cisplatin cytotoxicity. These results indicate that curcumin may reduce cisplatin-induced neurotoxicity, and clinical studies should potentially be considered.”

Neoadjuvant Chemotherapy for Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer: A Systemic Review and Two-Step Meta-Analysis.

Platinum-based neoadjuvant chemotherapy has been shown to improve survival outcomes in muscle-invasive bladder cancer patients. We performed a systematic review and meta-analysis to provide updated results of previous findings. We also summarized published data to compare clinical outcomes of methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin, and cisplatin (MVAC) versus gemcitabine and cisplatin/carboplatin (GC) in the neoadjuvant setting…”

The Most BioAvailable Curcumin Forumulas

“Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin (CU) products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism”

A search of the Pubmed database for the word curcumin yields 601 studies spaning health topics from multiple myeloma and colorectal cancer, to chemotherapies that synergizes with CU, to Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and more. Based on years of reading studies and personal accounts, I think it is safe to say that CU supplementation is safe and relatively inexpensive.

I have read about myeloma patients taking daily doses of CU from 400 milligrams to 8 grams (1000 milligrams = 1 gram). By almost any measure, CU is a safe, inexpensive wonder drug.

The only challenge is that CU is famously difficult to absorb in the body. In other words, a person has to mix curcumin with some sort of fat (coconut oil, chocolate, etc.) or take a brand of curcumin capsule that is already formulated to be more “bioavailable” in order to derive the full benefit of CU.

The study linked and exerpted below reviews different formulations of CU. The study itself lists the three most bioavailable formulation/brand of CU and I’ve added an excerpt from a further review from Consumerlab.com that lists four additional bioavailable brands of CU.

Recommended Reading:


CU is a bright yellow chemical produced by some plants. It is the principal curcuminoid of turmeric (Curcuma longa), a member of the ginger family, Zingiberaceae. It is sold as an herbal supplement, cosmetics ingredient, food flavoring, and food coloring.[1]

Bioavailable curcumin formulations: A review of pharmacokinetic studies in healthy volunteers.

“Curcumin is a widely studied natural compound which has shown tremendous in vitro therapeutic potential. Despite that, the clinical efficacy of the native CU is weak due to its low bioavailability and high metabolism in the gastrointestinal tract. During the last decade, researchers have come up with different formulations with a focus on improving the bioavailability of curcumin. As a result, a significant number of bioavailable curcumin-based formulations were introduced with the varying range of enhanced bioavailability.

The purpose of this review is to collate the published clinical studies of CU products with improved bioavailability over conventional (unformulated) CU. Based on the literature search, 11 curcumin formulations with available human bioavailability and pharmacokinetics data were included in this review. Further, the data on clinical study design, analytical method, pharmacokinetic parameters and other relevant details of each formulation were extracted.

Based on a review of these studies, it is evident that better bioavailability of formulated curcumin products is mostly attributed to improved solubility, stability, and possibly low first-pass metabolism. The review hopes to provide a quick reference guide for anyone looking information on these bioavailable curcumin formulations.

Based on the published reports,

exhibited over 100-fold higher bioavailability relative to reference unformulated CU. Suggested mechanisms accounting for improved bioavailability of the formulations and details on the bioanalysis methods are also discussed.”

According to Consumerlab.com:

“Novasol has the highest bioavailability (185 x compared to unforumulated CU), followed by Curcuwin (136 x), Longvida (100 x), Meriva (48 x), BCM-95 (27 x), Curcumin C3 Complex + Bioperene (20 x), and then Theracumin (16 x).”


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    Bryan Wray says 7 months ago

    I have stage 2 the mass was removed leave only 1 area of the bladder where it might have invaded muscle tissue what are some options 🤔

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