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ABSTRACT: Objective To examine whether a strategy of bladder conservation is reasonable in patients with multiple frequent superficial recurrences of transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder.Patients and methods Fifty-four patients with pTa/pT1, G1/G2 tumours at diagnosis, with five or more recurrences at two or more cystoscopies within 2 years of diagnosis and a minimum follow-up of 4 years were identified. The patients were categorized according to outcome, i.e. disease settled, continuing high-activity disease and disease progression.Results Forty-four patients did not progress, of whom 16 continued to have high-activity disease and 28 settled to a lower disease activity. One patient had a cystectomy for superficial disease. Nine patients progressed, six with muscle invasion in the bladder and three elsewhere in the urinary tract. Neither grade nor stage were predictive of recurrence. All but one of the patients with progression had both multicentric tumours at diagnosis and a positive cystoscopy at 3 months. Three patients died from their bladder cancer.Conclusion A policy of endoscopic resections and intra vesical chemotherapy or bacille-Calmette-Guèrin, with cystectomy reserved until muscle-invasive disease develops, does not significantly compromise survival in patients with high-activity superficial TCC. Cystectomy for superficial disease is rarely necessary.
BJU International 04/1997; 79(5):726 - 730. · 3.13 Impact Factor