Understanding the Use of Immediate Intravesical Chemotherapy for Patients with Bladder Cancer
Burks FN, Liu AB, Suh RS, Schuster TG, Bradford T, Moylan DA, Knapp PM, Murtagh DS, Dunn RL, Montie JE, Miller DC. J Urol. 2012 Oct 17. pii: S0022-5347(12)04501-6. doi: 10.1016/j.juro.2012.08.044. [Epub ahead of print]


Comprehensive Urology, Comprehensive Medical Center, Royal Oak, Michigan.



Despite its established efficacy in reducing recurrence rates for patients with urothelial carcinoma, immediate intravesical chemotherapy is reportedly used infrequently. Accordingly, the Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative implemented a project aimed at understanding and improving the use of immediate intravesical chemotherapy.


Surgeons in 5 Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative practices prospectively collected clinical and baseline intravesical chemotherapy use data for patients undergoing bladder biopsy or transurethral bladder tumor resection from September 2010 through January 2012. In the second phase of data collection (June 2011 through January 2012) treating surgeons also documented reasons for not administering intravesical chemotherapy. We defined patients with 1 to 2 clinical stage Ta/T1, completely resected, papillary tumor(s) as ideal candidates for treatment with immediate intravesical chemotherapy. For ideal and nonideal patients we examined baseline use of intravesical chemotherapy across Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative practices as well as reasons for not administering therapy among ideal patients.


Among 1,931 patients 37.2% met criteria as ideal cases for intravesical chemotherapy administration. We observed significant variation in the use of intravesical chemotherapy across Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative practices for ideal (range 27% to 50%) and nonideal cases (9% to 24%) (p <0.001). Reasons for not treating ideal candidates included lack of confirmation of malignancy (4, 2.8%), uncertainty regarding the benefits of intravesical chemotherapy (28, 19.6%) and logistic factors such as the unavailability of medication (34, 23.8%).


Use of immediate intravesical chemotherapy by Urological Surgery Quality Collaborative practices is higher than reported elsewhere but still varies widely, even among ideal candidates. Efforts to optimize use will be aided by disseminating evidence supporting indications and benefits of intravesical chemotherapy, and by addressing local logistic factors that limit access to this evidence-based therapy.