Management of local bacillus Calmette-Guerin failures in superficial bladder cancer
Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
We attempt to define the treated natural history of patients with superficial bladder tumors (stages Ta, TIS and T1) managed with intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) to determine the best form of treatment for locally recurrent tumors. The management and survival of 41 patients who failed BCG within the bladder or prostatic urethra and who subsequently were treated with a variety of secondary therapies are reviewed. Our aim was to assess the role of several independent clinical variables on the rate of death from bladder cancer. Of the 41 patients 6 (15%) died. Univariate statistical analysis identified early involvement of the prostatic urethra and the presence of superficially invasive (stage T1) tumor at initial treatment with BCG as factors having an adverse effect on survival. A multivariate statistical model revealed that patients with early prostatic urethral involvement and the presence of superficially invasive (stage T1) tumor at diagnosis had the highest risk of death from bladder cancer. The reason for change in therapy at failure of BCG, stage of the tumor at BCG failure, occurrence of upper tract tumors and early versus delayed radical cystectomy had no impact on survival. The results suggest that not all tumors that recur after BCG are destined to proceed to muscle invasion or metastases, and that some patients may be managed safely by repeated endoscopic resection and intravesical therapy with cystectomy delayed until objective progression is evident. Such an approach can yield survival equal to that in patients treated with early cystectomy and may result in longer intervals of bladder preservation in a select subset of patients who fail BCG locally.