Sequential Intravesical Gemcitabine and Docetaxel for bacillus Calmette-Guérin-Naïve High-Risk Nonmuscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer.

Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is currently recommended as adjuvant therapy following complete transurethral resection of bladder tumor for high-risk nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC).

In response to the BCG shortage, gemcitabine plus docetaxel (Gem/Doce) has been utilized at our institution in the BCG-naïve setting. We report the outcomes of patients with high-risk BCG-naïve NMIBC treated with Gem/Doce.

We retrospectively reviewed patients with BCG-naïve high-risk NMIBC treated with Gem/Doce from May 2013 through April 2021. Patients received 6 weekly intravesical instillations of sequential 1 gm gemcitabine and 37.5 mg docetaxel after complete transurethral resection of bladder tumor. Monthly maintenance of 2 years was initiated if disease-free at first followup. The primary outcome was recurrence-free survival. Survival was assessed with the Kaplan-Meier method, indexed from the first Gem/Doce instillation. Adverse events were reported using CTCAE (Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events) v5 (National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, Maryland). Differences were assessed with the log-rank test.

There were 107 patients with a median followup of 15 months included in the analysis. Patients had high-risk characteristics including 47 with any carcinoma in situ and 55 with T1 disease. Recurrence-free survival was 89%, 85% and 82% at 6, 12 and 24 months, respectively. Recurrence rates were similar between patients with or without carcinoma in situ (p=0.42). No patient had disease progression or died of bladder cancer. One patient underwent cystectomy due to end-stage lower urinary tract symptoms. Overall survival was 84% at 24 months. There were 92 adverse events (1 ≥grade 3), and 4 (4%) patients were unable to receive a full induction course.

Gem/Doce is an effective and well-tolerated therapy for BCG-naïve NMIBC. Further investigation is warranted.

The Journal of urology. 2022 Jul 27 [Epub ahead of print]

Ian M McElree, Ryan L Steinberg, Alex C Martin, Jordan Richards, Sarah L Mott, Paul T Gellhaus, Kenneth G Nepple, Michael A O'Donnell, Vignesh T Packiam

Carver College of Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa., Department of Urology, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa., Holden Comprehensive Cancer Center, University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa.

Read an Expert Commentary by Bishoy Faltas, MD