IBCN 2020: Protective Effect of BCG Bladder Instillations on Pneumonia?

(UroToday.com) Dr. Sita Vermeulen, Genetic Epidemiologist at the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands presented the “Protective effect of Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) bladder instillations on pneumonia?”  BCG vaccination has been shown to induce trained immunity, with indirect evidence suggesting decreased rates of infection.  Investigators studied the impact of intravesical BCG for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) in two Dutch studies. 

In 383 intravesical BCG patients, the incidence of pneumonia was lower (5.5%) compared to 211 patients without BCG exposure (10.4%, OR 0.50 [0.26-0.95]).  There were no compelling differences for other respiratory illnesses, and the rates of COVID-19 infection were similarly low in both groups.  These data require validation in larger cohorts, but have important implications on our understanding of the immunomodulatory effects of BCG.  There are ongoing trials investigating the efficacy of BCG vaccination during the COVID-19 pandemic.


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Presented by: Sita Vermeulen, PhD, Genetic Epidemiologist at the Radboud University Medical Center, Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Written by: Dr. Patrick Hensley, Urologic Oncology Fellow at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Twitter: @pjhensley11, with Ashish Kamat, MD, MBBS, President of The International Bladder Cancer Network (IBCN), The International Bladder Cancer Group (IBCG), and Professor of the Department of Urology, Division of Surgery, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, Texas, Twitter: @UroDocAsh, at the International Bladder Cancer Network (IBCN) Annual Meeting, #IBCN2020, October 17, 2020.
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