Intravesical instillation of Bacille Calmette-Guèrin (BCG) is the standard adjuvant treatment for high-risk non muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Since its mechanism of action is supposed to be linked to the immune system efficiency and senescence could negatively affect this efficiency, BCG efficacy in the elderly has been questioned. This study aimed to assess the impact of age on BCG efficacy and safety in patients with high-grade T1 bladder cancer (BC).Among 123 patients with high-grade T1 BCG scheduled for BCG treatment, 82 were <75 year-old (group A) and 41 were ≥75 year-old (group B). Follow-up: urine cytology and cystoscopy every 3 months for the first 2 years, every 6 months for the third year, and then yearly. Tumor recurrence was defined as pathological evidence of disease at the bladder biopsy; tumor progression was defined as pathological shift to muscle invasive disease at the bladder biopsy or the imaging techniques showing recurrent BC and distant metastasis likely related to it.The median follow-up was 65 months (range 11-152). Recurrence occurred in 35 patients, 19 (23.2%) in the group A and 16 (39%) in the group B. Progression occurred in 18 patients, 12 (14.6%) in the group A and 6 (14.6%) in the group B. Recurrence free rate was similar in both groups up to 2 years. The 5 years progression rate was almost the same in both groups A and B (85.9% vs 84.7%), whereas the 5 years cancer-specific survival (CSS) was 92.6% in the group A and 85.4% in the group B. Of the 18 patients with progression, 11 underwent cystectomy; 12 patients died because of their BC. Kaplan-Meier plots pointed out no difference in recurrence-free, progression-free, and CSS between the 2 groups. Adverse events were similar in the 2 groups. Only 4 (3.3%) patients, 2 (2.4%) in the group A and 2 (4.8%) in the group B, experienced mild adverse reactions compatible with treatment.Elderly patients with high-grade T1 BC are not poorer candidates to BCG treatment, as they had similar benefit and adverse reactions than those aging ≥75 years.

Medicine. 2019 Aug [Epub]

B Calò, F Sanguedolce, F Fortunato, G Stallone, N d’Altilia, M Chirico, U Falagario, Vito Mancini, G Carrieri, L Cormio

Department of Urology and Renal Transplantation., Department of Pathology., Department of Epidemiology., Department of Nephrology, University of Foggia, Italy.