Purpose: The natural history of primary bladder carcinoma in situ has not been well described. We describe patterns of disease recurrence and progression, and identify clinical outcome predictors of primary carcinoma in situ after bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy.
Materials and methods: We performed a retrospective analysis of 155 patients diagnosed with isolated primary high grade carcinoma in situ at a tertiary center from 1990 to 2008 who underwent transurethral resection followed by intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy. The end points included time to disease recurrence, time to progression to invasive disease (cT1 or higher) or to muscle invasive disease (cT2 or higher), or early radical cystectomy. Predictors included gender, age, race, smoking history, presenting symptoms, carcinoma in situ pattern (focal, multiple or diffuse) and response to bacillus Calmette-Guerin.
Results: A total of 155 patients received bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy within 6 months. The 5-year cumulative incidence of progression to cT1 or higher was 45% (95% CI 37-55) and to cT2 or higher was 17% (95% CI 12-25) adjusting for the competing risk of radical cystectomy. Of 130 patients evaluated for response to bacillus Calmette-Guerin 81 (62%) were considered responders. Response to bacillus Calmette-Guerin was significantly associated with progression to cT1 or higher/radical cystectomy (HR 0.59, 95% CI 0.36-0.95, p = 0.029) and to cT2 or higher/radical cystectomy (HR 0.53, 95% CI 0.32-0.88, p = 0.015). This association was largely driven by the higher rate of early radical cystectomy among nonresponders.
Conclusions: Despite bacillus Calmette-Guerin therapy and early radical cystectomy, patients with primary carcinoma in situ had a high rate of disease progression. Response to bacillus Calmette-Guerin was significantly associated with a lower rate of disease progression or early radical cystectomy.