Objectives: To assess the variability between institutions in the recurrence rate at the first follow-up cystoscopy (RR-FFC) after transurethral resection (TUR) in patients with stage Ta T1 bladder cancer.
Methods: A total of 2410 patients from seven EORTC phase III trials conducted between 1979 and 1989 were included. Patients with single and with multiple tumors were analyzed separately according to whether or not they received adjuvant intravesical treatment.
Results: The RR-FFC varied greatly between institutions. For patients with a single tumor, it ranged from 3.4% to 20.6% for patients not receiving any intravesical adjuvant treatment and from 0% to 15.4% in those receiving it. In patients with multiple tumors who had adjuvant treatment, it varied between 7.4% and 45.8%. There was a slight decrease over time in the recurrence rate for patients with single tumors, particularly in those receiving adjuvant intravesical treatment.
Conclusions: For both patients with single and with multiple tumors, the percentage of patients with a recurrence in the bladder at the first follow-up cystoscopy after TUR varies substantially between institutions and cannot be explained by the factors that were assessed. It is suggested that the quality of the TUR performed by the individual surgeons may be responsible.