Diminished efficacy of bacille Calmette-Guérin among elderly patients with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer - Abstract

Division of Urology, Department of Surgical Oncology, Princess Margaret Hospital, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) is recommended as adjunctive therapy among patients with high-risk nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer (BC). Given that immune response is attenuated with age, we set out to determine the impact of age on response to BCG.

We searched our prospective bladder information system and limited our search to patients with incident BC completely resected at transurethral resection (TUR) who completed a full induction course of BCG. We then analyzed the impact of age on outcome. Age was analyzed both dichotomously (greater or less than 75 years) as well as by 10-year increments. The main outcomes were recurrence or progression-free survival. Log-rank and multivariable Cox proportional-hazard analyses, adjusting for clinical and pathologic features (age, multifocality, pathologic stage, grade and associated carcinoma in situ, maintenance, and restaging) were used.

This cohort included 238 patients. Baseline parameters were similar aside from tumor number. Progression-free survival differed between age groups when examined either dichotomously or via 10-year increments. The 2-year progression-free survival was 87% among patients < 75 years vs 65% in patients >75 years (log rank P <.001). An age-dependent trend was noted when analyzed by 10-year increment (log-rank for trend P = .011). On multivariable analysis, age was an independent risk factor for progression (HR = 2.9, 95% CI 1.7-4.9). Recurrence-free survival was similar among age strata.

We demonstrated that advanced age is associated with higher progression rates despite BCG. The care of BC in the elderly population is of increasing concern and should be addressed in a prospective clinical study.

Written by:
Margel D, Alkhateeb SS, Finelli A, Fleshner N.   Are you the author?

Reference: Urology. 2011 Aug 13. Epub ahead of print.
doi: 10.1016/j.urology.2011.04.070

PubMed Abstract
PMID: 21840578

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