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BJU Int. 2009 Mar;103(6):736-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.08123.x. Epub 2008 Oct 31.

Reduced bladder cancer recurrence rate with cardioprotective aspirin after intravesical bacille Calmette-Guérin.

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  • 1Department of Urology, School of Medicine and Public Health, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI 53792, USA.



To evaluate the recurrence-free survival (RFS) rate of patients taking cardioprotective aspirin after intravesical bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) for high-grade noninvasive urothelial carcinoma of the bladder, as preventing the recurrence of superficial bladder cancer might decrease patient morbidity and mortality from this disease, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) have shown promise in preclinical prevention through inhibition of the prostaglandin pathway and other mechanisms.


In all, 43 patients with carcinoma in situ (CIS) and/or high-grade papillary bladder cancer were treated with intravesical BCG. Patients were stratified according to whether they took cardioprotective aspirin after treatment, and Kaplan-Meier curves of RFS were compared by log-rank analysis. Multivariable analysis was used for potentially confounding factors, including maintenance BCG, the presence of CIS, and smoking status.


Of patients taking cardioprotective aspirin, the 5-year RFS rate was 64.3%, compared with 26.9% for patients not taking aspirin, with a significantly higher RFS by univariable log rank analysis (P = 0.03). Even after adjusting for the other factors by multivariable analysis, aspirin seems to affect recurrence (hazard ratio 0.179, P = 0.001). Maintenance BCG (hazard ratio 0.233, P = 0.02) and smoking history (hazard ratio 3.199, P = 0.05) also significantly affected recurrence.


There was a significantly higher RFS rate in patients taking cardioprotective aspirin after intravesical BCG therapy for bladder cancer. The results of this study support the further investigation of aspirin and other NSAIDs as preventive agents in patients being treated for superficial bladder cancer.

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