Bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy alters the progression of superficial bladder cancer
Carcinoma in Situ
Carcinoma, Transitional Cell
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
The effectiveness of BCG in preventing disease progression in patients with superficial bladder cancer is evaluated. Long-term follow-up of high-risk patients treated in a previously reported randomized control trial of intravesical plus percutaneous BCG shows that progression occurred in 41/43 (95%) of control and 23/43 (53%) of BCG-treated patients. Muscle invasive and/or metastatic disease occurred with equal frequency in the two groups, but was significantly delayed by BCG treatment (P = .012). Cystectomies were required in 18/43 (42%) control and 11/43 (26%) BCG-treated patients. Median time to cystectomy was 8 months for control v 24 months for BCG-treated patients. Based on initial treatment, survival was improved by BCG therapy (P = .032) (median follow-up 6 years). These results suggest that in high-risk patients intravesical BCG can delay disease progression, prolong the period of bladder preservation, and increase overall survival.