Monthly maintenance protocol Bacillus Calmette-Guerin as a viable alternative to Southwest Oncology Group maintenance protocol in nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer: A prospective randomized study.

Bladder cancer is the most common malignancy of the urinary tract, and recurrence following transurethral resection poses the biggest challenge. Intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) maintenance with the Southwest Oncology Group (SWOG) protocol remains the gold standard but with poor patient compliance.

The present study aims to compare the SWOG maintenance protocol with a monthly maintenance protocol comprising 12 monthly doses of intravesical BCG. Patients are included in the study only if induction BCG is completed and cystoscopy at 3 months is negative. All patients receive 80 mg BCG in each dose with strict cystoscopic surveillance every 3 months.

Patient demographics and tumor characteristics were similar in the two groups. There were no statistically significant differences in outcome in terms of recurrence, progression, and adverse reactions in both the groups. Although a larger number of patients in the SWOG maintenance group were lost to follow-up, the difference was not statistically significant proportions.

From this study, we can conclude that monthly maintenance BCG for 1 year is comparable in terms of outcome with SWOG protocol maintenance BCG. A greater percentage of patients in the monthly maintenance protocol completed the treatment as planned.

Urology annals. 2020 Apr 14 [Epub]

Naveen Kumar Gupta, Debansu Sarkar, Dilip Kumar Pal

Department of Urology, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Kolkata, West Bengal, India.