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Management of BCG non-responders with fixed dose intravesical gemcitabine in superficial transitional cell carcinoma of urinary bladder

Author(s): Mohanty N | Nayak Rajiba | Vasudeva Pawan | Arora R

Journal: Indian Journal of Urology
ISSN 0970-1591

Volume: 24;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 44;
Date: 2008;
Original page

Keywords: BCG | gemcitabine | non-responders

Aims and Objectives: The incidence of bladder malignancy is increasing worldwide and the projected rise is 28% by 2010 for both sexes (WHO). Though intravesical adjuvant therapy with BCG is superior to any other immunotherapeutic/chemotherapeutic agent in reducing tumor recurrences and disease progression, its real efficacy remains controversial as one-third of the patients will soon become BCG failure. Hence there is a need for an alternative intravesical agent for treatment of BCG failure. Our aim was to study the efficacy, tolerability and safety of intravesical Gemcitabine in managing BCG-refractory superficial bladder malignancy. Materials and Methods: Thirty-five BCG failure patients, 26 males and nine females between 20-72 years of age were instilled with 2000 mg of Gemcitabine in 50 ml of normal saline intravesically two weeks post tumor resection, for six consecutive weeks. Mean follow-up was for 18 months with cystoscopies. Results: Twenty-one patients (60%) showed no recurrences, 11 patients (31.4%) had superficial recurrences while three patients (8.6%) progressed to muscle invasiveness. Average time to first recurrence was 12 months and to disease progression was 16 months. Adverse event was low and mild. Therapy was well tolerated. Conclusion: Gemcitabine fulfils all requirements as an alternative agent, in treating BCG failure patients with low adverse events, is well tolerated and highly effective in reducing tumor recurrences.
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