Purpose: We evaluated the management and treatment outcomes of low grade papillary bladder tumors.
Materials and methods: We evaluated 215 patients diagnosed with low grade and noninvasive papillary bladder tumors, and followed them every 6 months with flexible cystoscopy for 6 to 10 or more years. Tumor recurrence was treated with transurethral resection or outpatient cystoscopic fulguration.
Results: Of the 215 patients 143 (67%) had at least 1 recurrence (positive cystoscopy). With a median followup of 8 years tumor recurrences averaged 6.2 (range 1 to 19) requiring 0.34 transurethral resections per year or 1 transurethral resection every 3 years, or 0.61 fulgurations or 1 fulguration approximately every 2 years. There were 17 patients (8%) who had progression in grade or stage and 1 patient (0.5%) died of bladder cancer. Patients most likely to have recurrence had multiple tumors, low grade (TaLG) carcinoma or tumor at first followup cystoscopy.
Conclusions: Surveillance cystoscopy at 6-month intervals coupled with outpatient fulguration controls recurrent tumors and reduces the therapeutic burden for patients diagnosed with low grade papillary bladder tumors.