Evaluating the need for transurethral bladder biopsy at first follow up after intravesical BCG therapy for superficial bladder cancer: Preliminary data
AbstractIntroduction: Patients with high-risk superficial transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder have a lifelong risk of progression and require particular attention. Intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is recommended as a first-choice adjuvant treatment to reduce the risk of progression of high-grade tumors and carcinoma in situ (CIS).
Objectives: To evaluate the need for routine transurethral bladder biopsy from the site of previously resected tumor three months following intravesical BCG therapy, even if the urine cytology and cystoscopy were both negative.
Subjects and methods: A prospective study was carried out on 45 patients of both genders presenting with superficial bladder cancer. All patients received a six-week course of intravesical BCG. The mean age of the patients was 59 (range 33–80) years. Three months following resection, urine cytology was negative in all patients. Cystoscopy was then performed and although it was negative for any suspicious lesions, a routine biopsy from the previous resection site was taken.
Results: The indication for BCG instillation was T1G1 in 20 patients (44%), T1G2 in 12 patients (27%) and TaG2 in eight patients (18%). Three patients (7%) had a positive bladder biopsy for malignancy at follow-up despite the negative cystoscopy and cytology. There were no statistically significant differences between patients with positive and those with negative biopsies with regard to the stage and grade of the tumor before resection or the number of resected lesions. The original pathology of the three positive patients was T1G1 (two patients) and T1G2 (one patient). The pathology after BCG treatment was the same as before instillation, T1G1 (two patients) and T1G2 (one patient).
Conclusion: Until more studies on larger numbers of patients are done, a routine biopsy from the site of previously resected tumor at the time of check cystoscopy may improve the detection of tumor recurrence.