CHICAGOIntravesical gemcitabine is an effective and well tolerated adjuvant local chemotherapy in patients with superficial bladder cancer, according to researchers in Algeria.


Adda Bounedjar, MD, and his colleagues at Centre Pierre et Marie Curie in Algiers, enrolled 57 men and three women with transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder confirmed by histopathological diagnosis obtained after treatment with transurethral resection (TUR). The patients, who had a mean age of 59.5 years, had received no prior chemotherapy. Fifty-one patients had pT1 lesions and nine had carcinoma in situ.

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The 60 patients received a total of 720 instillations. After a follow-up period of 30-48 months, 53 patients (88.3%) had a persistent complete remission following TUR, five (8.3%) had a superficial relapse of TCC, and two (3.3%) had progressive disease at 18 and 27 months, the investigators reported here at the American Society of Clinical Oncology annual meeting. 


Hematologic and non-hematologic toxicities were grade 1, and included anemia (6.8% of patients), leukopenia (4.5%), thrombocytopenia (0.4%), asthenia (2.9% of patients), nausea and vomiting (1.8%), and hot flashes (2%).