Bladder carbogen and nicotinamide (BCON) radiotherapy

Bladder carbogen and nicotinamide (BCON), combined with radiotherapy, is an innovative treatment regimen. It is designed to maximise the effectiveness of conventional radiotherapy treatment.

If a bladder tumour outgrows its blood supply, parts of it can become deoxygenated. This is called hypoxia. Hypoxic tumours can be more resistant to radiotherapy, so they can be harder to treat.

BCON involves nicotinamide vitamin tablets taken before radiotherapy alongside high dose oxygen (carbogen), breathed continuously throughout the treatment. Combined, these supply the cancerous cells with oxygen and make them more sensitive to radiotherapy. BCON treatment is usually well-tolerated and offers an alternative for patients where chemotherapy may be considered too aggressive.   

Last updated: March 2023