Second-Line Conservative Device-Assisted Intravesical Treatment in Selected Patients With Recurrent High-Risk Non–Muscle-Invasive Bladder Cancer

Luca Di Gianfrancesco, Mauro Ragonese, Giuseppe Palermo, Emilio Sacco, Pier Francesco Bassi, Marco Racioppi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: In cases of recurrent high-risk non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer, radical cystectomy (RC) is recommended. We compared oncologic and treatment-related outcomes of second-line conservative device-assisted therapy to RC. Patients and Methods: In a retrospective cohort study, we analyzed 209 consecutive patients with recurrent bacillus Calmette-Guérin–unresponsive high-risk non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer; 107 subjects refused RC and were offered electromotive drug administration (n = 44) or chemohyperthermia (n = 63) (group A), and 102 patients underwent RC (group B). In group A, patients who did not benefit from device-assisted treatment underwent RC. The endpoints were high-grade disease-free survival, progression-free survival, cancer-specific survival, overall survival, and treatment-related complications. Follow-up was based on international guideline recommendations. Analyses were performed with log-rank and Fisher exact tests. Results: The median follow-up was 59 months (SD ± 5.3). When comparing group A to B, overall survival rates were 91.6% and 90.2%, respectively (P >.05); cancer-specific survival was 94.4% and 96.1%, respectively (P >.05); high-grade disease-free survival was 43% and 74.5%, respectively (P <.05); and progression-free survival was 59.8% and 75.5%, respectively (P <.05). Patients with carcinoma-in-situ had worse oncologic outcomes compared to patients with papillary disease. In the multivariate analysis, multifocality, disease recurrence, and progression risk group were independently associated with device treatment failure. The 90-day RC-related overall complications rates were 63.9% in group A and 66.6% in group B (P =.63); grade 3 to 5 complications were 9.8% in group A and 9.8% in group B(P =.99). Complications within group A were comparable (P >.05). Conclusion: Device-assisted treatment may a represent a valid second-line conservative tool in selected patients with recurrent high-risk non–muscle-invasive bladder cancer.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e100-e119
JournalClinical Genitourinary Cancer
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2021


  • Conservative treatment
  • Decision making process
  • Device-assisted therapy
  • Outcomes
  • Radical cystectomy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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