Objective: To report the oncological safety and the risk of progression for patients with non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) included in an active surveillance (AS) programme after the diagnosis of recurrence. Patients and methods: This is a prospective study enrolling patients with history of pathologically confirmed low grade pTa-pT1a NMIBC and diagnosed with a tumour recurrence. Inclusion criteria consisted of negative urine cytology, presence of ≤5 lesions with a diameter of ≤10 mm, absence of carcinoma in situ (CIS) or persistent gross haematuria. The primary outcome of interest was adherence to AS. Need to proceed with treatment was defined as progression in number/dimension/positive cytology/symptoms (gross haematuria persistent) or any further intervention (resection or electro-fulguration). Finally, we assessed the up-grading and up-staging when transurethral resection of bladder tumour was performed. Results: The study population consisted of 55 patients with a previous diagnosis of NMIBC (70 AS events) prospectively recruited since 2008. The mean patient age was 69.8 years. The median follow-up was 53 months. The median time patients remained under AS was 12.5 months. There was disease progression in 28 patients (51%). No patient progressed to muscle-invasive disease. In all, 15 patients (27.3%) had an increase in the number and/or size of the tumour, nine (16.4%) had haematuria, and four (7.3%) had a positive cytology. Only five (9%) patients in the whole series progressed to a high-grade tumour (Grade 3) or presented with associated CIS. The overall adherence to the follow-up schedule was 95%. Conclusion: Our data show that an AS protocol for NMIBC could be a reasonable option in a select group of patients with small, recurrent cancers.
- Active surveillance
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