Immediate intravesical chemotherapy for low-grade bladder tumors in California: An underutilized practice and its impact on recurrence

Stanley A. Yap, Ann Brunson, Neil Pugashetti, Rosemary D.Cress Rosemary, Theresa H.M. Keegan, Ralph deVere White, Ted Wun

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Objectives: To demonstrate patterns of uptake and impact on recurrence of intravesical chemotherapy (IC) immediately following transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) for low-grade non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) at a population level. Methods: Incident cases of low-grade (LG) Ta or T1 NMIBC from 2005 to 2012 were identified from the California Cancer Registry. We determined rates of IC utilization following TURBT. Multivariable logistic regression models were utilized to assess predictors of IC utilization. Multivariable Cox proportional hazards regression was used to assess the association of IC utilization with recurrence-free survival, bladder cancer-specific survival, and overall survival. Results: Ten thousand thirty-one patients with LG NMIBC diagnosed in California between 2005 and 2012. The overall rate of IC utilization was 5.1%, and increased from 1.7% (2005–2006) to 9.6% (2011–2012). More recent year of diagnosis (Odds ratio 1.74, confidence interval 1.60–1.90 for 2-year increments) was associated with an increased likelihood of undergoing immediate postoperative IC. The cumulative incidence of recurrence at 24 months for patients who received IC was 25.2% compared to 30.2% among those who did not receive IC. Use of IC was significantly associated with improved recurrence-free survival (Hazards ratio 0.82, confidence interval 0.70–0.97). Conclusion: Utilization of IC for LG NMIBC remains dismally low, with less than 10% of patients receiving this standard of care. Low utilization is associated with increased rates of recurrence. We demonstrate a major shortcoming in quality of care with potential widespread impact on outcomes and cost of care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)498.e1-498.e7
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 1 2018


  • bladder cancer
  • intravesical chemotherapy
  • non-muscle-invasive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology


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