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Clin Genitourin Cancer. 2007 Sep;5(6):386-9.

Long-term follow-up of intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin treatment for superficial transitional-cell carcinoma of the bladder involving the prostatic urethra.

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Department of Urology, Eastern Virginia Medical School, Norfolk, VA 23501, USA.



Intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a treatment option for superficial (<or=T1) transitional cell carcinoma. Transitional cell carcinoma involving the prostatic urethra presents a treatment dilemma. Whereas prostatic urethral involvement might require radical cystectomy, select patients can be offered BCG and careful surveillance to preserve the bladder. We report long-term experience with BCG in this subset of patients with >5-year follow-up.


Twenty-eight patients with high-risk superficial bladder cancer and prostatic urethral involvement were treated with once-weekly BCG for 6 weeks. Patients with prostatic stromal involvement were excluded. Maintenance was not used before 1995. Currently, we use maintenance BCG after induction. Patients were followed by cystoscopy/cytology and repeat biopsy to detect persistent and/or progressive disease.


After 1 or 2 courses of once-weekly BCG for 6 weeks, 64.3% (18 of 28 of patients) exhibited a complete response in the bladder and prostate at their 6-month followup. Of those obtaining a complete response, 55.6% (10 of 18) experienced recurrence. Three recurrences were in the prostate: 1 isolated and 2 associated with multifocal bladder involvement. Twenty-eight percent (8 of 28 patients) underwent cystectomy because of failure of treatment to eradicate superficial disease or disease progression. Disease-specific survival was 89% (25 of 28 patients) at a median follow-up of 7.5 years.


Our long-term data support the durability of intravesical BCG in select patients with superficial bladder transitional cell carcinoma with prostatic urethral involvement. Follow-up biopsy of the prostatic urethra is mandatory and, if positive, cystectomy is indicated. One third of patients will require cystectomy for persistent or progressive disease; therefore, careful surveillance is critical.

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