Contemporary Treatment Patterns for Non-muscle-invasive Bladder Cancer: Has the Use of Radical Cystectomy Changed in the BCG Shortage Era?


      To examine recent treatment trends for non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), and specifically, to assess whether there was a change in use radical cystectomy (RC) between 2008 and 2015 using data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database.


      We identified patients presenting with high-grade T1 (T1HG) NMIBC at diagnosis during the study period. Treatment was dichotomized into “RC” and “local treatment” (which included transurethral resection and intravesical therapies). We then employed multivariable logistic regression models to assess the odds of undergoing RC across the study period. Additionally we examined the rates of RC for T1HG NMIBC during the period of BCG-shortage, defined as 2012-2015.


      We identified 21,817 individuals diagnosed with T1HG bladder cancer during the study period. The majority of patients underwent local treatment (94.5%). During the shortage period, the rate of RC for T1HG NMIBC was significantly lower compared to the preshortage era (5.1% vs 5.9%, P = .007). Across the study period, the utilization of RC for T1HG NMIBC decreased significantly (odds ratio 0.99 per quarter, 95% confidence interval 0.98-0.99, P = .017).


      In our cohort of patients diagnosed with T1HG bladder cancer, we found a significant decrease in the use of radical cystectomy across the study period. Contrary to the hypothesis of increasing rates of RC in the face of BCG shortage, the rate of RC was significantly higher in the pre-shortage era. Further examination of NMIBC treatment patterns will be necessary to assess the impact of BCG availability on therapeutic pathways and oncologic outcomes in patients with high-grade NMIBC.
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