Blue light cystoscopy (BLC) is the most recent clinical approach in the detection and diagnosis of bladder cancer, a common type of cancer with a high rate of recurrence. Representing a significant advance over previous approaches, this photodynamic diagnostic technique uses a photosensitiser prodrug as an adjunct to white light cystoscopy to enhance the in vivo detection of malignant tissues in the bladder based on their distinctive fluorescence. Whilst it does improve detection rates, BLC remains an invasive and costly procedure. Meanwhile, a variety of noninvasive urine detection methods and related microdevices have been developed, none of which have yet entered routine clinical use due to unsatisfactory sensitivity. Following a brief description of the current approaches and their limitations, we provide here a systematic review of a newer niche research aiming to develop a noninvasive adaptation of photodynamic diagnosis. The research to date surrounding the ex situ use of photosensitiser prodrugs for urinary diagnosis of bladder cancer is also discussed.
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