The following article features coverage from the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium meeting. Click here to read more of Oncology Nurse Advisor‘s conference coverage.

New research on intravesical drug delivery suggests that bladder pressure may influence the degree to which gemcitabine is able to penetrate the wall of the bladder, according to study findings presented at the American Society of Clinical Oncology 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium.

The study investigators indicated not much is understood about the pharmacokinetics of intravesical drug delivery. They used porcine bladders as a model system for assessing gemcitabine penetration through the bladder wall, and the bladders were held at 37oC in an isotonic saline solution.

Gemcitabine was prepared at 2g per 100 mL of saline solution and warmed for administration into the bladders. Bladder pressure and temperature were monitored throughout each trial. After treatment, bladder tissue was dissected and homogenized for analysis by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. This was performed to quantify the gemcitabine concentration at 5 locations throughout the tissue.

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Across sampling locations throughout bladder wall tissue, gemcitabine concentrations tended to be higher in the presence of greater pressure (P =.011). This relationship continued to be seen in an analysis that was adjusted for location within the bladder (P =.006) and when adjusting for bladder wall thickness (P =.03). Drug delivery also improved when the drug concentration was increased while administering the same total dosage.

The researchers additionally tested whether temperature was a factor in gemcitabine concentration. However, they found no significant differences in gemcitabine concentration when using hyperthermic vs normothermic conditions (P =.4).

The researchers concluded that increased pressure in the bladder may improve the delivery of gemcitabine into bladder wall tissue.

Disclosures: Some authors declared affiliations with or received funding from the pharmaceutical industry. Please refer to the original abstract for a full list of disclosures.

Read more of our coverage of the 2021 Genitourinary Cancers Symposium by visiting the conference page.


Grimberg DC, Campbell SP, Etienne W, et al. Hyperthermia, bladder pressure, and intravesical drug delivery. J Clin Oncol. 2021;39(suppl 6):abstr 469. doi:10.1200/JCO.2021.39.6_suppl.469