Beware the BCG failures: A review of one institution's results

C. Richard W. Lockyer*, James E.C. Sedgwick, David A. Gillatt

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: To review the outcome of all superficial transitional cell (TCC) bladder cancer treated with intravesical Bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) at one institution and, in particular, the prognosis for those patients who gained little benefit from BCG therapy. Patients and Methods: The notes of 122 patients treated with BCG over a nine-year period were reviewed. The following details were recorded: time of diagnosis; time of decision to treat with BCG; results of cystoscopies before and after BCG; duration of follow up; time of progression if occurred, mortality and cause of death. Results: Complete follow up data was available for 112 patients. At a median follow up of 23 months (range 3-107) 57 patients (51%) remained free of tumour, 30 (27%) had progressed and 18 (16%) had died of transitional cell carcinoma. There was a significant association between a positive initial check cystoscopy and subsequent progression (p < 0.001) and disease specific mortality (p < 0.001). Of the 35 patients who had a positive cystoscopy after BCG treatment 21 (60%) progressed and 14 (40%) died of transitional cell carcinoma compared with 9 (12%) and 4 (5%) of the 77 with a negative cystoscopy. Adjusted odds ratios for progression and death from TCC for patients with a positive initial check cystoscopy were 21 and 13, respectively. Conclusion: In our series the patients found to have tumour at the initial check cystoscopy following intravesical BCG had a poor prognosis. This should be remembered when considering treatment options and counselling patients. Follow up of all BCG patients need to be rigorous and protocols would help to unify the treatment patients receive.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)542-546
Number of pages5
JournalEuropean Urology
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacille Calmette-Guerin
  • Disease progression
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Transitional cell carcinoma


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