WEDNESDAY, May 16, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer, undergoing the purified protein derivative skin test prior to bacillus Calmette-Guérin therapy may have therapeutic impact, according to a study published in the June issue of The Journal of Urology.

Naoya Niwa, M.D., from the Keio University School of Medicine in Tokyo, and colleagues treated 498 patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer with adjuvant bacillus Calmette-Guérin; 320 of the patients underwent the purified protein derivative skin test one to two weeks before therapy.

The researchers found that the mean ± standard deviation five-year recurrence-free survival rate was 66.6 ± 2.8 percent and 59.1 ± 4.1 percent for patients who did and did not undergo the purified protein derivative skin test, respectively (P = 0.048). There were no significant differences between the groups in progression-free survival. Significant independent associations with tumor recurrence were seen for a history of recurrence, multiple tumors, the bacillus Calmette-Guérin Connaught strain, seven or more bacillus Calmette-Guérin instillations, and undergoing the purified protein derivative skin test. Overall, 24.1 and 15.2 percent of patients who did and did not undergo the test, respectively, had major bacillus Calmette-Guérin-related side effects (P = 0.02).

“Combination therapy with bacillus Calmette-Guérin using the purified protein derivative skin test may improve the oncologic outcomes of that therapy,” the authors write.

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