Efficacy of combined intravesical immunotherapy and chemotherapy for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

William M. Hilton, Barbara Ercole, Dipen J. Parekh, Guru Sonpavde, Rita Ghosh, Robert S. Svatek

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Intravesical immunotherapy using attenuated bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) strains and intravesical chemotherapy are the modalities most commonly used to treat intermediate- or high-risk patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer. BCG has been shown to decrease recurrence rates by up to 67% compared with tumor resection alone, but intensive BCG maintenance regimens are poorly tolerated in a large proportion of patients. Intravesical chemotherapy also decreases the risk of recurrence for these patients, but has diminished efficacy compared with BCG. If BCG dose reduction can be achieved with combined intravesical immunotherapy and chemotherapy, this regimen may improve compliance and thus optimize treatment for these patients by limiting side effects from BCG monotherapy, while at the same time improving oncologic efficacy via the separate anti-tumor mechanisms of these agents. The authors discuss the most recent data regarding combining these agents in an alternating or sequential regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)949-957
Number of pages9
JournalExpert review of anticancer therapy
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • bacillus Calmette-Guérin
  • intravesical therapy
  • mitomycin C
  • non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacology (medical)
  • Oncology


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