It has been shown that active surveillance (AS) is feasible and effective in a subset of patients with recurrent low-grade (LG) non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).
To update a previous preliminary series and investigate pathological outcomes for patients who failed to remain on AS.
Prospective observational cohort study started in February 2008, and currently still active, at a tertiary university hospital, including patients with pathologically confirmed NMIBC who experienced recurrence during follow-up.
AS monitoring consisted of cytology and in-office flexible cystoscopy every 3 mo for the first year, and every 6 mo thereafter.
The primary endpoint was pathological results for patients who failed to remain on AS. The secondary outcome was an update of clinical results from our previous series. Data were complemented by descriptive statistical analysis and univariable and multivariable proportional hazards Cox regression.
Overall, 167 patients were included. Of 181 AS events, 61 (33.7%) were deemed to require treatment because of positive cytology (n=10), gross haematuria (n=11), and increases in the tumour number (n=15), or size (n=17), or both (n=8). The median time on AS was 12 mo (interquartile range 4-26). Pathological specimens from AS failures did not show any malignancy in 20 cases. Histopathology identified urothelial hyperplasia and oedema, submucosal vascular ectasia, mucosal erosion, polypoid cystitis, von Brunn nest hyperplasia, and squamous metaplasia. The time from first transurethral resection to AS start was inversely associated with recurrence-free survival (hazard ratio 0.97, 95% confidence interval 0.96-1.00; p=0.024). The study lacks statistical subanalyses focusing on patients with failure and negative neoplastic pathological outcomes.
AS might be a reasonable strategy in patients presenting with small LG pTa/pT1a recurrent bladder tumours. Approximately 30% of patients deemed to have AS failure did not harbour any neoplastic lesion, strengthening the role of AS.
Patients with small low-grade pTa/pT1a recurrent papillary bladder tumours could benefit from an active surveillance protocol with no significant risk of pathological progression to muscle-invasive cancer.
European urology oncology. 2018 Jun 05 [Epub]
Rodolfo Hurle, Piergiuseppe Colombo, Massimo Lazzeri, Giovanni Lughezzani, Nicolò Maria Buffi, Alberto Saita, Grazia Maria Elefante, Emanuela Morenghi, Giovanni Forni, Pasquale Cardone, Giuliana Lista, Davide Maffei, Giorgio Guazzoni, Paolo Casale
Department of Urology, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Clinical and Research Hospital, Rozzano, Italy., Department of Pathology, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Clinical and Research Hospital, Rozzano, Italy., Department of Urology, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Clinical and Research Hospital, Rozzano, Italy. Electronic address: ., Department of Biomedical Science, Humanitas University, Rozzano, Italy; Department of Biostatistics, Istituto Clinico Humanitas IRCCS, Clinical and Research Hospital, Rozzano, Italy.