Bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) at low doses has long been employed as prophylactic and therapeutic treatment for superficial cancer of the urinary bladder, aiming at reducing toxicity while maintaining efficacy. A retrospective review was reported, together with a review of the literature with respect to a low dose BCG regimen.Methods
Forty-five consecutive patients with superficial bladder cancer (Ta or T1) with one or more of the appropriate criteria (grade above 1, stage above a, size >1 cm, multiple or recurrent), after complete transurethral resection, received 27 mg Connaught strain BCG weekly for 6 weeks. There was no maintenance therapy. Patients were evaluated with urine cytology and cystoscopy. Recurrence, progression and death were analysed.Results
With a median follow up of 14 (range 3–61) months, 24 (53%) of the 45 patients responded to one course of 6 weekly BCG without recurrence. A further group of 13 (29%) patients responded to a second course of BCG on recurrence. Disease progressed in one (2.2%) patient. Two (4.4%) patients died of an unrelated condition. There was no disease specific mortality. Side-effects were common but well tolerated, with only two (4.4%) cases of treatment interruption.Conclusions
Low dose BCG could be an alternative option of adjuvant therapy for superficial bladder cancer with acceptable toxicity and good compliance.