Purpose: A randomized multicenter trial was done to compare transurethral resection only to transurethral resection plus adjuvant mitomycin C and bacillus Calmette Guerin (BCG) instillation for treatment of superficial bladder cancer (stage pTa/1 grades 1 to 3 except primary stage pTa grade 1).
Materials and methods: Included in the study were 337 patients with superficial stage pTa/1 grades 1 to 3 bladder cancer except primary stage pTa grade 1 tumors. One group underwent transurethral resection alone. Mitomycin C (20 mg./50 ml. sodium chloride) was given every 2 weeks during year 1 and once a month during year 2. BCG (120 mg/50 ml. sodium chloride was instilled once a week for 6 weeks and once a month for 4 months.
Results: At a median followup of 20.2 months, a decrease in recurrence rate was noted for both drug instillations compared to transurethral resection only. The relative risk of recurrence was 0.508 after mitomycin C and 0.618 after BCG instillation compared to transurethral resection alone. There was no significant difference between the mitomycin C and BCG instillations. The progression rate was comparable in all 3 therapy groups, with an estimated common progression rate of 4.22% per year. Side effects occurred most frequently during or after BCG instillation, most often consisting of cystitis. One patient required cystectomy because of ulcerating cystitis and a prostatic abscess subsequent to unsuccessful tuberculostatic therapy. There were no systemic complications.
Conclusions: Our study showed a positive effect of adjuvant chemotherapy and immunotherapy on decreasing tumor recurrence rate. No influence was observed concerning progression rate, which was low overall.