A retrospective analysis of 153 patients treated with or without intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin for primary stage T1 grade 3 bladder cancer: recurrence, progression and survival

J Urol. 2003 Jan;169(1):96-100; discussion 100. doi: 10.1097/01.ju.0000035543.69161.58.


Purpose: We retrospectively evaluated the long-term outcome in patients with newly diagnosed stage T1 grade 3 bladder cancer treated with transurethral resection with or without intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG).

Materials and methods: Of 153 patients with a median age of 67 years (range 36 to 88) and a male-to-female ratio of 4:1 we treated 92 with transurethral bladder resection and additional BCG, and 61 with transurethral bladder resection alone. BCG was administered intravesically as 120 mg. BCG Pasteur F dissolved in 50 ml. saline, retained for up to 2 hours weekly for 6 weeks and repeated as necessary.

Results: Median followup was 5.3 years (range 0.4 to 18.2). Disease recurred in 70% of the patients treated with BCG and in 75% treated with transurethral resection alone. Median time to recurrence was 38 and 22 months for BCG and resection alone (p = 0.19). Tumor progressed in 33% of patients with BCG and in 36% with resection alone. Deferred cystectomy was performed in 29% of the patients with BCG and in 31% with resection alone. Overall and disease specific survival did not differ significantly.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that intravesical BCG therapy after transurethral bladder resection for stage T1 grade 3 bladder cancer may delay the time to recurrence and cystectomy but it does not substantially alter the final outcome. Our findings reflect the rule of 30% for stage T1 grade 3 cancer, namely approximately 30% of patients never have recurrence, 30% ultimately die of metastatic disease and 30% require deferred cystectomy.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Administration, Intravesical
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • BCG Vaccine / administration & dosage*
  • Cystectomy
  • Disease Progression
  • Disease-Free Survival
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Rate
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / drug therapy*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / mortality
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / pathology
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / surgery


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • BCG Vaccine