Treatment of urethral recurrence following radical cystectomy and ileal bladder substitution

Celi Varol, George N. Thalmann, Fiona C. Burkhard, Urs E. Studer*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: With the introduction of orthotopic bladder substitution after radical cystectomy in patients with invasive bladder cancer urethral recurrences have become a therapeutic challenge. Materials and Methods: We retrospectively evaluated our patients with urethral recurrences treated with a urethra sparing approach after orthotopic bladder substitution. Depending on the extension of recurrence and eventual concomitant metastases patients were treated with urethrectomy, no treatment, systemic chemotherapy of or intraurethral bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG). Three times the common dose of BCG (ImmuCyst, Aventis, Paris, France or OncoTICE, Organon, West Orange, New Jersey) in 150 ml NaCl 0.9% was used for intraurethral BCG perfusion therapy according to an institutional protocol using a modified Foley catheter. This regimen was repeated weekly for 6 weeks and patients were followed prospectively. Results: Between 1985 and 2001, 15 of 371 patients (4%) who received an orthotopic bladder substitute had urethral recurrence. Two patients were treated with systemic chemotherapy (methotrexate, vinblastine, doxorubicin and cisplatin) alone due to metastatic disease and 10 received intraurethral BCG therapy. Five of 6 patients (83%) with carcinoma in situ remained free of recurrence following treatment with BCG, while in 4 with papillary or invasive disease treatment failed. Three patients underwent urethrectomy, including 2 following failed BCG therapy for papillary disease. Conclusions: Carcinoma in situ urethral recurrence following orthotopic bladder substitution can be treated successfully with intraurethral BGG perfusion therapy in approximately 80% of patients. However, papillary and invasive transitional cell urethral recurrence should be treated with urethrectomy.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)937-942
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Urology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Carcinoma in situ
  • Cystectomy
  • Mycobacterium bovis
  • Urethra
  • Urinary diversion


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