Intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) has been shown to be effective therapy and prophylaxis against recurrent tumor in patients with superficial bladder cancer (stages 0 and A); including carcinoma in situ. Tice-Chicago strain BCG was used to treat superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder in 24 patients between July; 1985 and June; 1987.
A variety of different BCG treatment regimens have been used that vary in intensity. In general; treatment results have heen more favorable with intensive regimens. However; the toxicity also has been substantially greater with intensive regimens. The optimal regimen has yet to be determined. Our treatment regimen of 120mg. Tice-Chicago strain BCG weekly for 6 weeks and then monthly for 3 months was well tolerated. 23 patients had a complete response and one had a tumor recurrence at 18 months follow-up; resulting in 96% of response rate. Side effects during or shortly after treatment were minor and self-limiting in the majority of patients (fever; bladder irritability and hematuria).
This experience supports the efficacy of BCG as a cost effective; well-tolerated treatment modality for patients with superficial transitional cell carcinoma of the bladder.