Compared Efficacy of Adjuvant Intravesical BCG-TICE vs. BCG-RIVM for High-Risk Non-Muscle Invasive Bladder Cancer (NMIBC): A Propensity Score Matched Analysis

European Association of Urology (EAU)-Young Academic Urologists (YAU) Urothelial Cancer Working Party

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Background: Intravesical immunotherapy with bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) is the standard therapy for high-risk non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). The superiority of any BCG strain over another could not be demonstrated yet. Methods: Patients with NMIBCs underwent adjuvant induction ± maintenance schedule of intravesical immunotherapy with either BCG TICE or RIVM at two high-volume tertiary institutions. Only BCG-naïve patients and those treated with the same strain over the course of follow-up were included. One-to-one (1:1) propensity score matching (PSM) between the two cohorts was utilized to adjust for baseline demographic and tumor characteristics imbalances. Kaplan-Meier estimates and multivariable Cox regression models according to high-risk NMIBC prognostic factors were implemented to address survival differences between the strains. Sub-group analysis modeling of the influence of routine secondary resection (re-TUR) in the setting of the sole maintenance adjuvant schedule for the two strains was further performed. Results: 852 Ta-T1 NMIBCs (n = 719, 84.4% on TICE; n = 133, 15.6% on RIVM) with a median of 53 (24-77) months of follow-up were reviewed. After PSM, no differences at 5- years RFS, PFS, and CSS at both Kaplan-Meier and Cox regression analyses were detected for the whole cohort. In the sub-group setting of full adherence to European/American Urology Guidelines (EAU/NCCN), BCG TICE demonstrated longer 5-years RFS compared to RIVM (68% vs. 43%, p = 0.008; HR: 0.45 95% CI 0.25-0.81). Conclusion: When routinely performing re-TUR followed by a maintenance BCG schedule, TICE was superior to RIVM for RFS outcomes. However, no significant differences were detected for PFS and CSS, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number887
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2022


  • BCG strain
  • Bladder cancer
  • Cancer-specific survival
  • Progression-free survival
  • Re-TUR
  • Recurrence-free survival

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