Although associated with an overall favorable survival rate, the heterogeneity of non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) affects patients' rates of recurrence and progression. Risk stratification should influence evaluation, treatment and surveillance. This guideline attempts to provide a clinical framework for the management of NMIBC.Materials and Methods:
A systematic review utilized research from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and additional supplementation by the authors and consultant methodologists. Evidence-based statements were based on body of evidence strength Grade A, B, or C and were designated as Strong, Moderate, and Conditional Recommendations with additional statements presented in the form of Clinical Principles or Expert Opinions.1Results:
A risk-stratified approach categorizes patients into broad groups of low-, intermediate-, and high-risk. Importantly, the evaluation and treatment algorithm takes into account tumor characteristics and uniquely considers a patient's response to therapy. The 38 statements vary in level of evidence, but none include Grade A evidence, and many were Grade C.Conclusion:
The intensity and scope of care for NMIBC should focus on patient, disease, and treatment response characteristics. This guideline attempts to improve a clinician's ability to evaluate and treat each patient, but higher quality evidence in future trials will be essential to improve level of care for these patients.