Comparative Outcomes of Primary, Recurrent, and Progressive High-risk Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer
Thomas F, Noon AP, Rubin N, Goepel JR, Catto JW. Eur Urol. 2012 Sep 5. pii: S0302-2838(12)01017-2. doi: 10.1016/j.eururo.2012.08.064. [Epub ahead of print]


The Academic Urology Unit and Institute for Cancer Studies, University of Sheffield, Sheffield, UK.



The treatment of high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (BCa) is problematic given the variable natural history of the disease. Few reports have compared outcomes for primary high-risk tumours with those that develop following previous BCas (relapses). The latter represent a self-selected cohort, having failed previous treatments.


To compare outcomes in patients with primary, progressive, and recurrent high-risk non-muscle-invasive BCa.


We identified all patients with primary and relapsing high-risk BCa tumours at our institution since 1994. Relapses were divided into progressive (previous low- or intermediate-risk disease) and recurrent (previous high-risk disease) cancers. OUTCOME MEASUREMENTS AND


Relationships with outcome analysed using multivariable Cox regression and log-rank analysis.


We identified 699 primary, 110 progressive, and 494 recurrent high-risk BCa tumours in 809 patients (average follow-up: 59 mo [interquartile range: 6-190]). Muscle invasion occurred most commonly in recurrent (23%) tumours, when compared to progressive (20%) and primary (14.6%) cohorts (log rank p<0.001). Disease-specific mortality (DSM) occurred more frequently in patients with recurrent (25.5%) and progressive (24.6%) tumours compared to primary disease (19.2%; log rank p=0.006). Other-cause mortality was similar in all groups (log rank p=0.57), and overall mortality was highest in the progressive cohort (62%) compared with the recurrent (58%) and primary groups (54%; log rank p<0.001). In multivariable analysis, progression and DSM were predicted by tumour grouping (hazard ratio [HR]: >1.15; p<0.026), stage (HR: >1.30; p<0.001), and patient age and sex (HR: >1.03; p<0.037). Carcinoma in situ was only predictive of outcome in primary tumors. Limitations include retrospective design and limited details regarding bacillus Camille-Guérin use.


Patients with relapsing, high-risk, BCa tumors have higher progression, DSM, and overall mortality rates than those with primary cancers. The use of bladder-sparing strategies in these patients should approached cautiously. Carcinoma in situ has little predicative role in relapsing, high-risk, BCa tumors.