Objectives: To assess the influence of intravesical instillation of epirubicin or bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) in patients with bladder cancer on the clinical performance of the uCyt+ test, which traces the three monoclonal antibodies M344, LDQ 10, and 19A211 in urothelial cells.
Methods: A total of 267 patients with a mean age of 70.5 years (range 35 to 87) were included in this prospective study. All patients were being followed up after complete transurethral resection of superficial urothelial cancer. All patients received a single instillation of 80 mg epirubicin within 24 hours of transurethral resection and 163 underwent subsequent cycles of chemotherapy with epirubicin or immunotherapy with BCG. This was because of multifocality, high-recurrence, or high-grade urothelial cancer. At the next control, all patients underwent urinary cytology, with the uCyt+ test performed on liquid-based cytology (ThinPrep), subsequent cystoscopy, and evaluation of any suspicious lesion by biopsy. Patients who underwent intravesical BCG therapy underwent random bladder cold biopsy after every instillation series.
Results: Of the 267 patients, 8 could not be evaluated by uCyt+ because of insufficient cells. Of the remaining 259 patients under assessment, 86 had proven urothelial cancer. In the 101 patients under assessment with only a single intravesical instillation of epirubicin (group 1), the overall sensitivity for cytology and the uCyt+ test was 44.7% and 76.6%, respectively. Cytology had a specificity of 90.7% and uCyt+ of 64.8%. The negative predictive value for cytology and uCyt+ was 65.3% and 76.1%, respectively. Of the 158 patients under evaluation who were treated with long-term intravesical therapy (group 2), the overall sensitivity and specificity for cytology and the uCyt+ test was 37.8% and 84.6% and 94.9% and 70.6%, respectively. The negative predictive value for cytology and the uCyt+ test was 83.1% and 93.3%, respectively. Statistical analysis showed no statistically significant difference between the overall sensitivity (P = 0.512) and specificity (P = 0.558) for the uCyt+ test in the two groups of patients.
Conclusions: The sensitivity and specificity of the uCyt+ test are not significantly affected by intravesical long-term treatment with epirubicin or BCG.