We describe the incidence, clinicopathological risk factors, management and outcomes of recurrent nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer after a complete response to trimodality therapy of muscle invasive bladder cancer.Materials and Methods:
We retrospectively reviewed the records of 342 patients with cT2-4aN0M0 muscle invasive bladder cancer and a complete response after trimodality therapy from 1986 to 2013. Using competing risks analyses we examined the association between baseline clinicopathological variables and nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer outcomes. Kaplan-Meier and the generalized Fleming-Harrington test were used to compare disease specific and overall survival.Results:
At a median followup of 9 years nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer recurred in 85 patients (25%) who had had a complete response. On Kaplan-Meier analysis baseline carcinoma in situ was associated with recurrent nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (p = 0.02). However, on multivariate analysis carcinoma in situ and other baseline clinicopathological characteristics did not predict such recurrence. Patients with recurrent nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer had worse 10-year disease specific survival than those without recurrence (72.1% vs 78.4%, p = 0.002), although overall survival was similar (p = 0.66). Of the 39 patients (46%) who received adjuvant intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin 29 (74%) completed induction therapy and 19 (49%) reported bacillus Calmette-Guérin toxicity. Three-year recurrence-free and progression-free survival after induction bacillus Calmette-Guérin was 59% and 63%, respectively.Conclusions:
After a complete response to trimodality therapy nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer recurred in 25% of patients, developing in some of them more than a decade after trimodality therapy. No baseline clinicopathological characteristics were associated with such recurrence after a complete response. Patients with nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer recurrence had worse disease specific survival than those without such recurrence but similar overall survival. Adjuvant intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin had a reasonable toxicity profile and efficacy in this population. Properly selected patients with recurrent nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer after a complete response may avoid immediate salvage cystectomy.