BCG for Bladder Cancer

BCG for Bladder Cancer

Bladder cancer can come back; for this reason, the patient needs follow-up tests for years after finishing the treatment.

BCG (Bacillus Calmette-Guérinthat used since 1920 to attenuated the action of the tubercle bacilli that causes tuberculosis) is the best maintenance therapy for bladder cancer.

The action of BCG

The action of BCG is resumed by the interaction of three systems: the patient, the BCG (Mycobacteria), and the tumor. This interaction will give rise to a cascade of immunological events, some of which will be essential for the protective action of BCG against tumor recurrence and progression; BCG must come in contact with the cancer cells to work and turns on the immune system.

Indications of BCG:

BCG (powder and solvent for suspension for intravesical use) is used to :

-curative treatment of urothelial carcinoma in situ.

-prophylactic treatment of relapses of urothelial carcinoma limited to the mucosa, no muscle-invasive urothelial carcinoma, urothelial carcinoma in situ.

Protocol of injection of BCG:

2-3 weeks after TURBT ( weekly for 6 weeks).

After a cystoscopy: Maintenance therapy consists of 3 treatments at weekly intervals given for a minimum of 1 year
up to 3 years; every 3 months for 2 years, then every 6 months for 2 years, and finally yearly.

Side effects of BCG

– fever, chills, aches, weakness, flu-like symptoms;

– breathing diffuculty;

-pain when you urinate;

– a weak stream of urine, trouble to empty your bladder;

-blood in your urine, dark urine;

-vomiting, upper stomach pain;

-signs of a penis infection (odor, discharge, pain, tenderness, redness, fever…)

About 4 to 6 hours after treatment, you may have bladder symptoms :

-sudden urges to urinate,

-frequent urination,

-stomach discomfort,

-possibly loss of bladder control.

If these side effects last for longer than 2 or 3 days, you schould call your doctor.

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