Timing of bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) induction after transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) does not affect rates of tolerability and response, investigators reported at the Society of Urologic Oncology 2020 virtual annual meeting.

Intravesical BCG is conventionally administered following a recovery interval after TURBT to avoid complications related to absorption, but no guideline exists on the appropriate interval after the procedure to give induction BCG, Patrick Hensley, MD, of MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas, and colleagues explained in their poster.

The investigators studied 512 patients with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer who received adequate BCG at a median 26 days from TURBT. They stratified patients into those receiving BCG less than 3 weeks and 3 weeks or more after surgery (213 patients and 329 patients, respectively). The rate of BCG intolerance was similar for both groups (10.2% vs 8.4%, respectively).

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In addition, the investigators observed no difference in recurrence, progression, or development of BCG-unresponsive disease in the patients who received BCG within 3 weeks of surgery and those who received it 3 weeks or more afterward. Recurrence-free survival (RFS) and progression-free survival (PFS) did not differ significantly (median RFS: 84 and 74 months, respectively; median PFS was not reached).

“Early administration in properly selected patients is safe, and delays do not affect therapeutic response,” the investigators concluded. “These data have implications during times of restricted healthcare access, including the COVID-19 pandemic.”


Hensley P, Bree K, Brooks N, et al. Time interval from transurethral resection to onset of BCG induction does not impact therapeutic response: Implications during times of impaired access to healthcare. Presented at: Society of Urologic Oncology 2020 virtual annual meeting, December 3-5. Abstract 36.