To investigate the treatment pattern of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients among urologists in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, with emphasis on compliance with important treatment guidelines.

A Web-based questionnaire survey was conceived by representative members of each country’s urological oncology society and was open from June 2016 to February 2017 to each society’s members. Descriptive statistics and multinomial logistic regression analysis were used.

A total of 2334 urologists were invited and 701 responded to the survey with a response rate of 30.0%. Instruments used during transurethral resection of bladder cancer varied significantly between countries and depended on their availability. The re-transurethral resection rate for pT1 or high-grade disease >50% of the time was significantly higher in Japan than in the other two countries, but the collective rate was just 49%. The frequency of intravesical therapy in intermediate- to high-risk disease was generally consistent across countries. However, the choice of agent between chemotherapy and bacillus Calmette-Guérin was significantly different between countries. Maintenance bacillus Calmette-Guérin was used <10% of the time by 45% of respondents, the most important reasons being fear of side-effects, followed by a lack of efficacy and shortage of drug supply.

There are significant differences between Japan, Korea and Taiwan in the management of intermediate- to high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. The results of this survey can serve as the basis for joint efforts to develop common clinical guidelines.

International journal of urology : official journal of the Japanese Urological Association. 2019 Sep 11 [Epub ahead of print]

Seol Ho Choo, Hiroyuki Nishiyama, Hiroshi Kitamura, Chung-Hsin Chen, Yeong-Shiau Pu, Hyung-Lae Lee, Byong Chang Jeong, Sun Il Kim

Department of Urology, Ajou University School of Medicine, Suwon, Korea., Department of Urology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan., Department of Urology, Graduate School of Medicine and Pharmaceutical Sciences for Research, University of Toyama, Toyama, Japan., Department of Urology, National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan., Department of Urology, Kyung Hee University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea., Department of Urology, Samsung Medical Center, Sungkyunkwan University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.