Are There Differences in Toxicity and Efficacy between Various Bacillus Calmette-Guerin Strains in Bladder Cancer Patients? Analysis of 844 Patients

To evaluate if there are differences in toxicity and efficacy between different Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) stains used for intravesical immunotherapy in patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer.

We retrospectively analysed a group of 844 patients who received TICE, RIVM and Moreau BCG strains. The allocation of the strain to each patient was random, stemming from differences in supply and distribution. The patients were analysed in terms of toxicity, recurrence-free (RFS), progression-free (PFS), cancer-specific (CSS) and overall survival (OS).

In the survival analysis, statistical significance was not reached in any tumour group for any clinical event. TICE caused more local and mild adverse effects and severe complications were mainly associated with RIVM strain. In a group in which the strain was changed during the course of the therapy, significantly more severe complications were observed and, in most of these cases, complications appeared right after the strain change.

There were no differences in terms of RFS, PFS, CSS and OS after use of TICE, RIVM and Moreau strains. The complication profile differed statistically between used strains with TICE causing mostly mild complications. Also, strain change during the therapy course was associated with the increased risk of moderate to severe toxicity occurrence.

Urologia internationalis. 2018 Sep 18 [Epub ahead of print]

Wojciech Krajewski, Michal Matuszewski, Sławomir Poletajew, Jędrzej Grzegrzółka, Romuald Zdrojowy, Anna Kołodziej

Department of Urology and Oncological Urology, Wrocław Medical University, Wrocław, Poland., Department of General, Oncological and Functional Oncology, Medical University of Warsaw, Wrocław, Poland., Department of Histology and Embryology, Wroclaw Medical University, Wrocław, Poland.