For over 15 years, the MVAC regimen (methotrexate/vinblastine/doxorubicin/cisplatin) has been standard chemotherapy for patients with unresectable or metastatic bladder cancer. The taxanes and gemcitabine have provided new treatment options, but development of more effective regimens is needed. Gallium nitrate has significant activity as a single agent in the treatment of advanced bladder cancer, including activity in heavily pretreated patients and patients previously treated with MVAC or single-agent cisplatin. At a dosage of 300 mg/m2 daily by continuous infusion for 5 to 7 days every 3 weeks, toxicity has been acceptable in the treatment of patients with refractory disease. Gallium nitrate is also active in combination regimens for advanced bladder cancer. Because it has a different mechanism of action, minimal myelosuppression, and activity in previously treated patients, gallium nitrate may be useful as a single agent in patients with advanced bladder cancer who fail front-line chemotherapy regimens. Evaluation of gallium nitrate in combination with newer agents such as the taxanes or gemcitabine may also be warranted given its activity, different mechanism of action, and non-overlapping toxicity profile.
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