Prospective trial to identify optimal bladder cancer surveillance protocol: reducing costs while maximizing sensitivity

BJU Int. 2011 Oct;108(7):1119-23. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2010.10026.x. Epub 2011 Mar 22.


Objective: • To assess the cost-effectiveness of using cytological evaluation, NMP22 BladderChek®, and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) UroVysion® in addition to cystoscopy in patients with a history of bladder cancer undergoing surveillance for recurrence.

Patients and methods: • In all, 200 consecutive patients with a history of bladder cancer not invading the muscle were prospectively enrolled at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. • Five surveillance strategies were compared: (i) cystoscopy alone; (ii) cystoscopy and NMP22; (iii) cystoscopy and FISH; (iv) cystoscopy and cytology; and (v) cystoscopy and positive NMP22 confirmed by positive FISH. • The cost per cancer detected was calculated. • For patients with an initial positive test and negative cystoscopy, tumour detected at first follow-up was assumed to be too small to be visualized at the initial assessment and the biomarker was credited with early detection.

Results: • Cancer was detected in 13 patients at study entry. • Detection rates for the five surveillance strategies were: (i) 52%, (ii) 56%, (iii) 72%, (iv) 60%, and (v) 56%. • The costs per tumour detected (at the time of initial marker analysis) were (i) $7692; (ii) $12,000; (iii) $26,462; (iv) $11,846; and (v) $10,292. • When early detection of biomarkers was factored in, the CPTD became: (i) $7692; (ii) $11,143; (iii) $19,111; (iv) $10,267; and (v) $9557. • There were 12 new cancers detected at first follow-up (median time, 4.1 months). None of the tumours detected by biomarkers but not by cystoscopy were invasive.

Conclusions: • Cystoscopy alone remains the most cost-effective strategy to detect recurrence of bladder cancer not invading the muscle. • The addition of urinary markers adds to cost, without improved detection of invasive disease.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Clinical Protocols
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / diagnosis*
  • Neoplasm Recurrence, Local / economics*
  • Population Surveillance
  • Prospective Studies
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / diagnosis*
  • Urinary Bladder Neoplasms / economics*
  • Young Adult