We evaluated the efficacy of immune and scarification Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) in the treatment of carcinoma in situ and prophylaxis against recurrence in patients with superficial transitional carcinoma of the bladder. A single-blind, randomised, comparative trial involving 43 patients with a median follow-up of 39 months was analysed. The end points were progression to muscle invasive disease or recurrence. The overall response rate was 93% after one to two courses. There was no difference between the two preparations and no statistically significant difference between the response or progression rates of the carcinoma in-situ or prophylactic groups. However, the response to BCG was found to be a significant prognostic indicator in a multivariate analysis.