How successful is BCG treatment for bladder cancer?

Conservative treatment options in patients with BCG failure

What is the success rate of BCG treatment?

A recent study was published evaluating maintenance BCG therapy [23]. The authors observed a three-year recurrence free survival of 75.3% and disease-free survival of 96.1%. However, they reported a high complication rate of 81.5%.

How many times can you have BCG treatments?

Maintenance BCG is typically given once per week for three weeks at 3, 6, and 12 months after the initial BCG treatment. In some cases, maintenance BCG treatment will be recommended for one year for those at intermediate risk of recurrence and for three years for those at higher risk for recurrence.

What are the side effects of BCG treatment for bladder cancer?

Treatment with BCG can cause a wide range of symptoms. It’s common to have flu-like symptoms, such as fever, achiness, chills, and fatigue. These can last for 2 to 3 days after treatment. It also commonly causes a burning feeling in the bladder, the need to urinate often, and even blood in the urine.

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Can bladder cancer return after BCG?

The standard of care for patients with high-grade (HG) non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) remains intravesical bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) following transurethral resection. Unfortunately, up to 75% will develop tumor recurrence and 20% will progress within 5 years despite intravesical therapy.

How long does BCG stay in your system?

BCG can remain in urine for 6 hours after your treatment, so each time you urinate, you should bleach the toilet in your home to neutralize the vaccine.

What happens if BCG fails?

BCG failure usually carries a risk of recurrence but rarely of progression. For low-grade failure, intravesical chemotherapy is a valid option. This scenario is different from that where BCG intravesical therapy is unsuccessful in high-risk T1 disease and/or CIS, where a risk of progression may sometimes reach 50%.

Should I drink water after BCG treatment?

6. Repeat steps 3-5 for 6 hours after each treatment. 7. Drink plenty of fluids after your instillation to flush your bladder.

What does BCG do to the bladder?

The BCG drug is inserted into the bladder through a catheter. The therapy triggers the immune system to attack bladder cancer cells. It is one of the most effective treatments for bladder cancer, especially carcinoma in situ (CIS).

When do side effects of BCG start?

Symptoms of bladder irritability are reported in approximately 50% of patients receiving TheraCys and typically begin 4-6 hours after instillation and last 24-72 hours. The irritative reactions usually are seen following the third instillation and tend to increase in severity after each administration.

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What is the success rate of immunotherapy for bladder cancer?

Ultimately, what the study showed is that about 40 percent of patients can have their cancer eradicated with PD-1 immunotherapy, and about half of those responses last more a year.

What is the latest treatment for bladder cancer?

Advanced and metastatic bladder cancer treatment

A notable new FDA approval in December 2019 was enfortumab vedotin (Padcev), approved for advanced bladder cancer patients who have not responded to chemotherapy or immune checkpoint drugs.