Randomized Controlled Study of the Efficacy, Safety and Quality of Life with Low Dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin Instillation Therapy for Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer

Akira Yokomizo, Yusuke Kanimoto, Takehiko Okamura, Seiichiro Ozono, Hirofumi Koga, Masatsugu Iwamura, Hiroshi Tanaka, Satoru Takahashi, Tomoyasu Tsushima, Hiro Omi Kanayama, Hideyuki Akaza, Nobuo Shinohara, Soichi Mugiya, Koichiro Nomata, Tsuyoshi Nakamura, Seiji Naito

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Purpose The optimal dose of intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin for the treatment of nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer is controversial. We investigated if induction therapy with low dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin could achieve a complete response rate similar to that of standard dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin, with less toxicity and higher quality of life. Materials and Methods After transurethral resection, patients with unresectable multiple nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer and/or carcinoma in situ were randomized to receive standard (80 mg) or low dose (40 mg) bacillus Calmette-Guérin instillation induction therapy (weekly, 8 times). The primary end point was noninferiority of low dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin with a null hypothesis of a 15% decrease in complete response rate. Secondary end points were recurrence-free survival, progression-free survival, overall survival, patient compliance, adverse events and quality of life using the EORTC QLQ-C30. Results In an intent to treat analysis of 166 patients the complete response rates for low dose and standard dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin were 79% (95% CI 0.70-0.88) and 85% (95% CI 0.77-0.92), respectively. Dunnett-Gent analysis revealed that the null hypothesis of inferiority of low dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin in terms of complete response could not be rejected (p = 0.119). However, there were no significant differences between the groups in terms of recurrence, progression and overall survival. Low dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin was associated with significantly less fever (p = 0.001) and micturition pain (p = 0.047), and significantly higher quality of life scores for global quality of life, role functioning and functional impairment. Conclusions The noninferiority of low dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin was not proven. However, low dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin was associated with lower toxicity and higher quality of life compared to standard dose bacillus Calmette-Guérin in patients with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)41-46
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2016


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Urology

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