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J Urol. 2012 Mar;187(3):862-7. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2011.10.144. Epub 2012 Jan 15.

Use of fluorescence in situ hybridization to predict response to bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy for bladder cancer: results of a prospective trial.

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  • 1Department of Urology, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas 77030, USA. akamat@mdanderson.org



No reliable methods currently exist to predict patient response to intravesical immunotherapy with bacillus Calmette-Guérin given after transurethral resection for high risk nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer. We initiated a prospective clinical trial to determine whether fluorescence in situ hybridization results during bacillus Calmette-Guérin immunotherapy can predict therapy failure.


Candidates for standard of care bacillus Calmette-Guérin were offered participation in a clinical trial. Fluorescence in situ hybridization was performed before bacillus Calmette-Guérin, and at 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months during bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy with maintenance. Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess the relationship between fluorescence in situ hybridization results and tumor recurrence or progression. The Kaplan-Meier product limit method was used to estimate recurrence-free and progression-free survival.


A total of 126 patients participated in the study. At a median followup of 24 months 31% of patients had recurrent tumors and 14% experienced disease progression. Patients who had positive fluorescence in situ hybridization results during bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy were 3 to 5 times more likely than those who had negative fluorescence in situ hybridization results to experience recurrent tumors and 5 to 13 times more likely to have disease progression (p <0.01). The timing of positive fluorescence in situ hybridization results also affected outcomes. For example, patients with a negative fluorescence in situ hybridization result at baseline, 6 weeks and 3 months demonstrated an 8.3% recurrence rate compared to 48.1% for those with a positive result at all 3 points.


Fluorescence in situ hybridization results can identify patients at risk for tumor recurrence and progression during bacillus Calmette-Guérin immunotherapy. This information may be used to counsel patients about alternative treatment strategies.

Copyright © 2012 American Urological Association Education and Research, Inc. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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