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Eur Urol. 2003 Aug;44(2):222-5; discussoion 225.

Management and prognosis of transitional cell carcinoma superficial recurrence in muscle-invasive bladder cancer after bladder preservation.

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  • 1Fundaci√≥ Puigvert, Servicio de Urolog√≠a, Cartagena, 340-350, 08025 Barcelona, Spain.



To assess the bladder preservation rate and cancer-specific survival after conservative treatment of superficial relapses in invasive tumors after bladder preservation.


Fifty-one patients with invasive bladder tumor (T2) were treated using transurethral resection (TUR) followed by three cycles of systemic chemotherapy (carboplatin-vinblastine). After three weeks, an endoscopic reappraisal was made including deep TUR of the site of the original tumor and multiple cold cup biopsies. Forty-two patients retained their bladder (33 complete responses and 9 partial responses).


With a median follow-up of 63 months, 18 patients recurred as superficial TCC tumor (43%). Fourteen patients with high grade superficial recurrence were treated with TUR and Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) instillations; two patients (G2-3 T1) with TUR as well as endovesical mytomicine, and two patients with low grade recurrence with only TUR. With a median follow-up of 44 months after TUR of first superficial relapse, there was only one case with progression of the disease without any evidence of bladder tumor. Two cystectomies were made due to carcinoma in situ (Cis) persistence and high grade superficial recurrence. Eighty-three percent of the patients who had superficial recurrence retained their bladders, with 94% cancer-specific survival.


A very strict follow-up is mandatory due to the high rate of superficial relapses (43%). Cis is the most frequent type of superficial recurrence. Superficial recurrences in bladder preservation may be treated with TUR and BCG instillations when they are high grade and and/or associated with Cis. Superficial recurrences do not imply a worse prognosis for bladder preservation or cancer-specific survival.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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