(HealthDay News) — Gemcitabine plus docetaxel (Gem/Doce) may be an alternative for the treatment of high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), according to a study published in The Journal of Urology.

Ian M. McElree, from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 107 patients with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin-naive high-risk NMIBC treated with Gem/Doce from May 2013 through April 2021 (median follow-up, 15 months). After complete transurethral resection of bladder tumor, patients received 6 weekly intravesical instillations of sequential gemcitabine and docetaxel. If disease-free at first follow-up, monthly maintenance of two years was initiated.

The patients had high-risk characteristics: 47 and 55 patients had carcinoma in situ and T1 disease, respectively. The researchers found that at 6, 12, and 24 months, recurrence-free survival was 89, 85, and 82%, respectively. Similar recurrence rates were seen for patients with or without carcinoma in situ. There were no cases of disease progression or bladder cancer-related death. Cystectomy due to end-stage lower urinary tract symptoms was performed in one patient. At 24 months, overall survival was 84%. Ninety-two adverse events were observed (one at least grade 3); four patients were unable to receive a full induction course.


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“These findings may serve as a benchmark for future prospective trial design assessing Gem/Doce as a first-line treatment for NMIBC,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

Abstract/Full Text

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