Objective: To assess the influence of 5-aminolaevulinic acid-induced fluorescence cystoscopy (FC) during transurethral resection (TUR) on the recurrence rate and the length of tumour-free interval in stage Ta/T1 transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the urinary bladder.
Patients and methods: In all, 122 patients with primary or recurrent stage Ta/T1 bladder TCC treated with TUR were enrolled in a prospective randomized study. In group A the TUR was performed with standard white-light endoscopy, and in group B with FC. The patients were followed using standard cystoscopy and urinary cytology. The recurrence-free interval was evaluated in whole groups, for single and multiple, and for primary and recurrent tumours separately.
Results: At the time of the first cystoscopy (10-15 weeks after TUR) tumour recurrence was detected in 23 of 62 patients (37%) in group A, but only in five of 60 patients (8%) in group B. The recurrence-free survival rates in group A were 39% and 28% after 12 and 24 months, compared to 66% and 40% respectively in group B (P = 0.008, log-rank test). In separate analyses, the recurrence-free survival rates were significantly higher using FC in multiple (P = 0.001) and in recurrent (P = 0.02) tumours. In solitary and primary tumours the median time to recurrence was also longer in group B, but the difference was not statistically significant.
Conclusion: 5-aminolaevulinic acid-induced FC during TUR reduces the recurrence rate in stage Ta/T1 bladder TCC. The most significant benefit is in patients with multiple and recurrent tumours.