BCG-unresponsive high-grade non-muscle invasive bladder cancer: what does the practicing urologist need to know?

Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is a well-established treatment for preventing or delaying tumour recurrence following high-grade nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) resection. However, many patients will experience recurrence or progression during or following BCG. This scenario has been one of the most challenging in urologic oncology for several decades since BCG implementation. Finally, significant progress has occurred lately. The aim of this review was to summarize for the practising urologist the current treatment options available in 2020 or expected to be ready for routine use in the near future for patients with high-risk NMIBC who experience BCG failure.

Narrative review using data through the end of 2020.

First, the definition of BCG unresponsive disease which is critical in counseling and managing patients has finally reached a consensus. Second, some promising options other than radical cystectomy are finally available and many other should be in a near future. The options can be categorized as chemotherapy, device-assisted therapy, check-point inhibitors, new intravesical and systemic agents and sequential combinations of these newer modalities with conventional therapy.

Considering the options that are currently under scrutiny, many of which in phase III trials, clinicians should have at their disposal several new treatment options in the next five years.

World journal of urology. 2021 Mar 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Cedric Lebacle, Yohann Loriot, Jacques Irani

University Hospital of Bicêtre-Paris Sud-Saclay University, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, Paris, France., Institut Gustave Roussy, Villejuif, France., University Hospital of Bicêtre-Paris Sud-Saclay University, Le Kremlin Bicêtre, Paris, France. .