Is there a role for second transurethral resection in pTa high-grade urothelial bladder cancer?

Evidence for second transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT) for pTa high-grade lesions is limited. This study aims to examine the role of a second TURBT in the pTa high-grade group and to generate recurrence and progression data for this group.

We retrospectively studied the clinical profiles and outcomes of all patients diagnosed with high-grade pTa lesions at first TURBT, between the years 2006-2015. Firstly, in patients who underwent a complete first TURBT, we calculated the proportion of patients with positive findings on second TURBT. Secondly, we assessed whether those who underwent a second TURBT had a longer recurrence-free survival compared to those who underwent a single TURBT.

One hundred and twelve patients had a pTa high-grade urothelial bladder tumor (WHO 2004 classification) at first TURBT, out of whom 43 (38.3%) had a second TURBT. Indications for second TURBT were high-grade lesions (n = 36), absence of detrusor muscle (n = 2), and incomplete resection (n = 5). Out of the 36 patients who had a complete first TURBT and underwent a second look TURBT, 7 patients had positive findings (3 carcinoma in situ, 2 pTa low-grade lesions and 2 pTa high-grade lesions) and there was no upstaging. Of the 5 patients with an incomplete first TURBT, one upstaged to pT1 on second TURBT. Of the 81 patients who followed up with us, 25.9% had a recurrence and 8.6% progressed. The estimated median recurrence free survival was 60 months (95% CI 29.2-90.7) for the whole group and 76 months vs. 45 months for the second and single TURBT group respectively - a difference that was clinically, though not statistically, significant. Multiple (≥2) tumours had a lower recurrence free survival (HR of 4.60, CI 1.67-12.63, p = 0.003).

Of the patients with pTa high-grade tumours who had a second TURBT after a complete first TURBT, 19.4% had a positive finding. Multiple tumours are four times as likely to recur as solitary tumours. The role of a second TURBT in this group needs to be studied in larger patient cohorts before a recommendation regarding its lack of clinical utility can be made conclusively.

Central European journal of urology. 2018 Jun 12 [Epub]

Anuj Deep Dangi, Ramani Manoj Kumar, Thomas Alex Kodiatte, Mahasampth Gowri, Santosh Kumar, Antony Devasia, Nitin Kekre

Department of Urology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India., Department of Pathology, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India., Department of Bio-Statistics, Christian Medical College and Hospital, Vellore, India.