Chemotherapeutic agents administered intravesically to treat bladder cancer have limited efficacy due to periodic dilution and wash-out during urine formation and elimination. This review describes the pathophysiology, prevalence and staging of bladder cancer, and discusses several formulation strategies used to improve drug residence within the bladder. These include the use of amphiphilic copolymers, mucoadhesive formulations, hydrogels, floating systems, and liposomes. Various in vitro and in vivo models recently employed for intravesical drug delivery studies are discussed. Some of the challenges that have prevented the clinical use of some promising formulations are identified.