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J Urol. 2002 Sep;168(3):981-5.

Perioperative single dose instillation of epirubicin or interferon-alpha after transurethral resection for the prophylaxis of primary superficial bladder cancer recurrence: a prospective randomized multicenter study--FinnBladder III long-term results.

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  • 1Divisions of Urology, Turku University Hospital, Turku, Finland.



We evaluated the long-term efficacy of a single dose of interferon or epirubicin administered immediately after transurethral resection compared with transurethral resection alone for primary superficial bladder cancer recurrence.


A total of 200 patients with primary superficial stages Ta to T1, grades 1 to 3 bladder cancer were randomized into 3 treatment groups, including transurethral resection alone, transurethral resection plus 50 milliunits interferon-alpha2b and transurethral resection plus 100 mg. epirubicin. The primary end point was time to first recurrence.


At a median followup of 72 months we observed a sustained effect of a single epirubicin instillation compared with other treatments. To date only 46% of the patients in group 3 have experienced recurrence in contrast to 73% and 68% in groups 1 and 2, respectively (p = 0.002). At 72 months the Kaplan-Meier disease-free estimates were 24%, 31% and 51% in groups 1 to 3, respectively (p = 0.002). The Cox multivariate model revealed a more than 2-fold relative risk of recurrence in group 1 versus group 3 (p <0.001). Other significant variables predicting recurrence were grade and the number of tumors.


A single perioperative instillation of 100 mg. epirubicin causes a significant and sustained decrease in primary superficial bladder cancer recurrence, whereas a single dose of 50 milliunits interferon-alpha2b is ineffective for prophylaxis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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