[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To study the additive effect of either an early instillation or maintenance instillations of adjuvant intravesical epirubicin, as compared to the epirubicin "standard" treatment schedule only, in patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer.
Patients with intermediate- and high-risk urothelial cell carcinoma of the bladder, except carcinoma in situ, were randomised for adjuvant intravesical instillations with 50mg epirubicin/50 ml NaCl for 1h. Group 1 received 4 weekly and 5 monthly instillations (standard schedule), group 2 received the same schedule as group 1, but with an additional instillation <48 h after transurethral resection of bladder tumour (TURBT), and group 3 received the same scheme as group 1, but with additional instillations at 9 and 12 mo (maintenance schedule). Standard follow-up was 5 yr and consisted of cystoscopy, cytology, and registration of adverse events.
A total of 731 patients were eligible for quasi intention-to-treat analysis. Side-effects were minimal for all treatment groups. After 5-yr follow-up, respectively, 44.4%, 42.7%, and 45.0% (log-rank test, p=0.712) of the patients in groups 1, 2, and 3 were recurrence free, and 90.0%, 87.7%, and 88.2% (log-rank test, p=0.593) of the patients, respectively, were progression free.
In the quasi intention-to-treat analysis there is no difference in the 5-yr recurrence-free period between the treatment groups, despite one instillation within 48 h of TURBT or two maintenance instillations up to 1 yr, in addition to the "standard" schedule.