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HIVEC Treatment

Our Department of Uro-Oncology at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road is a forerunner in delivering innovative treatment modalities for improving the lives of cancer patients. One such treatment modality practised at Fortis is the HIVEC treatment which has led us to set our footprint in the field of bladder cancer and helps us deliver better health outcomes for patients suffering from bladder cancer.

The urinary bladder is a hollow muscular organ which collects and store urine from kidney before the urine gets excreted by urination. Many are the diseases and conditions that affect the urinary bladder. Amongst all, bladder cancer is the most common. Bladder cancer is an abnormal growth of bladder cells in the inner lining of the bladder. Based on its invasiveness, bladder cancer can be subdivided into two types – invasive bladder cancer and non-invasive or superficial bladder cancer. Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer is a kind of bladder cancer that is found only in the tissue that lines the inner surface of the bladder and has not spread deeper into the muscle of the bladder. In simpler terms, non-invasive bladder cancer is confined to the bladder lining where it began and does not spread anywhere outside of the bladder lining. When identified in its nascent stage, this cancer is highly treatable.

The first treatment you have for non-invasive bladder cancer is transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT). During this treatment procedure, the tumour is removed from the bladder using a cystoscope. Even after the successful removal of the tumour, there are chances for the invisibly left behind cancer cells to re-grow over time and form tumours resulting in tumour recurrence. To stop the tumours from reoccurring, your doctor may recommend a chemotherapy treatment using drugs such as Mitomycin-C, Epirubicin or Gemcitabine. This chemotherapy treatment is performed by injecting the drug directly into your bladder through the urethra with the help of a small tube called a catheter. Recent practice has shown that heating the drug while it is inside your bladder (thermo-chemotherapy) kills the residual cancer cells within the bladder more effectively and makes the treatment even more efficacious. That’s the reason in modern times, Hyperthermic Intra-VEsical Chemotherapy (HIVEC) Treatment (thermo-chemotherapy for short) has become the way of treating non-invasive bladder cancer.

Treating a complex condition like bladder cancer requires exceptional insight. Understanding this, our Uro-oncology team at Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road, has achieved specialized expertise in HIVEC treatment and offers a comprehensive treatment plan that helps you to fight against the bladder cancer both physically and mentally. Your benefit at Fortis is better health and good peace of mind.

Areas of Care

Fortis Hospital, Bannerghatta Road is leading the way in the treatment of non-invasive bladder cancer by pioneering the new treatment approach, the HIVEC treatment. This treatment method combines the advantages of local hyperthermia with intra-cavitary chemotherapy. It makes use of a small machine called the COMBAT BRS system which is purposefully designed for the delivery of Hyperthermic Intra-Vesical Chemotherapy (HIVEC).

Hyperthermic Intra-Vesical Chemotherapy (HIVEC)

A number of challenges must be overcome before turning HIVEC into a successful treatment for every patient. Being a perfect synergy of compassion and technology, our Uro-Oncology department puts every patient at the centre of an expert team and provides an outstanding level of personalised care to successfully perform HIVEC and treat cancer for the better.

Benefits of HIVEC treatment

  • The major benefit of HIVEC treatment is it effectively kills the residual cancer cells and stops cancer re-occurrence. This is because the heat generated during this treatment makes it easier for the chemotherapy drug to get absorbed into the bladder lining, allowing for deeper penetration into the wall of the bladder and better killing of the cancer cells.
  • The heat generated during the HIVEC treatment can also boost your body's natural immune system and stimulate them to better identify the cancer cells and kill them.
  • The key component of HIVEC treatment, the COMBAT BRS system can be easily integrated into the out-patient clinic, thus ensuring the comfort-ability of the patient whilst maximising treatment outcomes.
  • HIVEC treatment is extremely safe and comfortable for the patients. In case, if the temperature or pressure exceeds or falls below the threshold values, this COMBAT BRS system used in this treatment can send acoustic and visible warnings as well as cut off automatically, thus ensuring patient safety and comfort.
  • HIVEC treatment carries very minimal side effects compared to other methods. This is because during this treatment the drug is injected into the bladder and not the bloodstream.


HIVEC Treatment Procedure

At Fortis, our Uro-oncology specialists function as the vanguards of the bladder cancer treatment by driving the latest advances in every treatment method including the modern HIVEC treatment. Our experts have several years of experience at administering the HIVEC procedure and are well loaded with the proficiency of dealing with the most critical of cases with professional and personalised care. The following passages throw light on how to prepare for the HIVEC treatment and how it is done.

Preparation: Prior to the procedure (at least 4-6 hours), the intake of fluids has to be stopped. This is very essential because it reduces the amount of urine your body produces and prevents the dilution of the chemotherapy drug. Also, the consumption of certain medications like diuretics has to be avoided at the time of treatment as they have the potential to increase the production of urine.

Procedure: The procedure commences by cleaning the genital area using an antiseptic solution and applying an anaesthetic gel into the urethra. Then, the catheter through which the drug has to be injected is inserted into the bladder through the urethra. Once the catheter is placed comfortably, it is connected to the COMBAT BRS system which sits next to the treatment couch. The system gets switched on and the drug inside the bladder begins to warm up. The drug is allowed to reach a temperature of 43°C and then gently re-circulated around the bladder and back through the system up to four times a minute. This is to maintain the bladder temperature constantly at 43°C and well distribute the drug so that the entire bladder gets covered. The procedure will last for about 60 minutes after which the system will slowly drain the chemotherapy drug out of the bladder through the catheter and into a special bag for disposal.
The same procedure is repeated multiple times on periodic schedules and the entire course of HIVEC treatment is completed. Post-procedure, consumption of plenty of fluids is generally advised for the first couple of days as it will keep the urine diluted and the recovery comfortable. Refrainment from intercourse for 48 hours following each treatment is a must for sexually active patients.

HIVEC treatment is not advisable for pregnant women and for women who are planning to become pregnant.

Our team that Cares

Our multi-disciplinary team of urologists, radiologists, oncologists, palliative care specialists, trained nurses and technical staff function in an integrated fashion to offer exceptional cancer care for each patient right from the diagnosis to treatment, recovery and beyond. Through detailed discussions and interactive sessions, they work closely with you and your family to determine whether HIVEC is a viable option for treatment or not. Since the inception of this treatment program, our expert team has been consistently pushing their boundaries and providing real hope to bladder cancer patients for their cure and recovery.