At present, intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) immunotherapy is recommended for prophylaxis purposes after transurethral resection of bladder tumor, but has chances of recurrence. Radical cystectomy reduces the risk of recurrence in bladder cancer patients, but may have chances of postoperative complications. The objective of the study was to test the hypothesis that radical cystectomy has overtreatment and definitive BCG immunotherapy has undertreatment in intermediate or high-risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer patients. Data regarding biopsies, ultrasound, the computed tomography scan, adopted treatment strategy, treatment-emergent adverse effect, and a follow-up period of 312 patients with confirmed nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (pTa, pTis, or pT1 stage; intermediate or high-risk cancer) were reviewed. Patients who had received definitive intravesical BCG immunotherapy were included in BCG group (n = 210) and those who underwent radical cystectomy were included in RXC group (n = 87). Clinical decision-making for treatment strategies was evaluated for both groups. Cystitis was frequently observed in all patients who received BCG immunotherapy. In RXC group, ileus was frequently observed in all patients in early days after the operation. During 2 years of the follow-up period, biopsies, ultrasound, and the computed tomography scan reported that BCG group had fewer numbers of negative cancer patients after treatment than the RXC group after surgery (P < .0001). Total expenditure for BCG immunotherapy was higher than radical cystectomy (22,945 ± 945 ¥/patient vs 17,985 ± 545 ¥/patient; P < .0001). Definitive BCG immunotherapy had undertreatment and radical cystectomy had overtreatment for intermediate or high-risk invasive bladder cancer patients (level of evidence III).

Medicine. 2019 Sep [Epub]

Xiaoming Jian, Mingkang Shen, Guodong Liao

Department of Urology, Shidong Hospital of Yangpu District, Shanghai., Department of Urology, Zhejiang Provincial People’s Hospital, People’s Hospital of Hangzhou Medical College, Hangzhou, China.