Novel treatment of upper tract urothelial carcinoma in situ with docetaxel in BCG refractory patients

Bladder Cancer

Urol Oncol. 2020 Sep 18:S1078-1439(20)30367-7. doi: 10.1016/j.urolonc.2020.08.002. Online ahead of print.


INTRODUCTION: Patients with upper-tract carcinoma in situ (UT-CIS) that have failed treatment with BCG are recommended for radical nephroureterectomy (RNU). We describe a cohort of patients with BCG-refractory UT-CIS that were treated with docetaxel, a novel agent in the approach to topical therapy.

METHODS: Patients with pathologically proven UT-CIS from 2012 to 2020 with an imperative indication for organ preservation and history of BCG-refractory disease were included. Each patient underwent ureteroscopy with biopsy and selective cytology pre- and postinduction, and after each maintenance course. Complete response (CR) was defined as the absence of visualized lesions on ureteroscopy, negative selective cytology, and absence of clinical progression. No response (NR) was defined as persistence of lesions after induction or absence of visualized lesions with persistently positive cytology.

RESULTS: Seven patients and 10 renal units were treated. Six of the 10 renal units had initial CR (60%). Three patients with NR went on to have RNU, one of which subsequently died due to cancer-specific mortality. One patient with bilateral disease had NR in 10 renal unit and cure in the other. This patient subsequently developed recurrence in his remaining renal unit. A second patient had CR in both kidneys for 6 years, but 1 year after finishing maintenance regimen developed HG disease in 1 ureter. Average follow-up was 33 months.

CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates efficacy of docetaxel as a treatment option for patients with UT-CIS with a contraindication to RNU after failing BCG. Response rates of 60% appear to be similar to those of BCG-refractory bladder CIS.