FRIDAY, Aug. 19, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Gemcitabine plus docetaxel (Gem/Doce) may be an alternative for the treatment of high-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC), according to a study published in the September issue of The Journal of Urology.

Ian M. McElree, from the University of Iowa in Iowa City, and colleagues conducted a retrospective review of 107 patients with Bacillus Calmette-Guérin-naive high-risk NMIBC treated with Gem/Doce from May 2013 through April 2021 (median follow-up, 15 months). After complete transurethral resection of bladder tumor, patients received six weekly intravesical instillations of sequential gemcitabine and docetaxel. If disease-free at first follow-up, monthly maintenance of two years was initiated.

The patients had high-risk characteristics: 47 and 55 patients had carcinoma in situ and T1 disease, respectively. The researchers found that at six, 12, and 24 months, recurrence-free survival was 89, 85, and 82 percent, respectively. Similar recurrence rates were seen for patients with or without carcinoma in situ. There were no cases of disease progression or bladder cancer-related death. Cystectomy due to end-stage lower urinary tract symptoms was performed in one patient. At 24 months, overall survival was 84 percent. Ninety-two adverse events were observed (one at least grade 3); four patients were unable to receive a full induction course.

“These findings may serve as a benchmark for future prospective trial design assessing Gem/Doce as a first-line treatment for NMIBC,” the authors write.

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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