Objectives. To assess the long-term results of intravesical bacille Calmette-Guerin (BCG) treatment for Stage T1 grade 3 (T1G3) transitional cell carcinoma (TCC) of the bladder. Methods. Fifty-one patients with T1G3 TCC were treated with induction plus maintenance BCG courses after transurethral resection and followed up for at least 5 years or until death. Results. The median follow-up of progression-free patients was 85 months (range 64 to 108). During this period 32 (62.7%) of 51 patients remained progression free, 9 (17.6%) progressed, 8 (15.7%) died of other causes, and 2 (3.9%) were lost to follow-up. Seven patients had extravesical involvement: 5 (9.8%) of 51 had an upper urinary tract tumor and 3 (7.9%) of 38 had prostatic involvement (1 of the 7 had both). The risk of disease progression was significantly higher for patients with a tumor measuring 3 cm or more and those with tumor associated with carcinoma in situ (CIS) in multivariate analyses and for patients with recurrent tumors, solid tumors, or early T1G3 recurrence after BCG in univariate analyses. At last follow-up, 34 patients (66.7%) were alive; 8 (15.7%) had died of causes unrelated to the disease, 7 (13.7%) had died of bladder cancer, and 2 (3.9%) had been lost to follow-up. Disease- specific survival was 86.3%. Conclusions. Intravesical BCG is an effective conservative treatment for T1G3 bladder cancer. Patients with negative prognostic factors such as coexisting CIS or large, solid, or recurrent tumor should be followed up closely and if T1G3 recurs early after the BCG induction course, immediate cystectomy should be performed.
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