The management of superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder
Carcinoma, Transitional Cell
Urinary Bladder Neoplasms
Superficial transitional cell carcinomas (TCC) of the urinary bladder, defined as those that are restricted to the mucosa or the lamina propria, represent a common condition with a wide spectrum of biologic significance. High-grade superficial TCC, particularly in the presence of lamina propria invasion, has a significant risk of occult or subsequent progression to muscle-invasive or metastatic disease. Such high-risk lesions merit aggressive therapy with repeat resection followed by intravesical therapy, usually in the form of bacille Calmette-Guérin. Criteria for failure of intravesical therapy are not well defined, but persistent cytologic or cystoscopic abnormalities at 6 months are worrisome. Salvage intravesical therapy may sometimes be successful, but early cystectomy should be strongly considered, especially in younger patients. Close surveillance of patients with high-risk superficial TCC is essential.