Selection of patients and benefit of immediate radical cystectomy for non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

Karl H. Pang, Aidan P. Noon, on behalf of the EAU Young Academic Urologists-Urothelial Cancer Working party


Bladder cancer (BC) is a common disease in both sexes and majority of cases present as non-muscle invasive BC (NMIBC). The percentage of NMIBC progressing to muscle invasive BC (MIBC) varies between 25% and 75% and currently there are no reliable molecular markers that may predict the outcome of high-risk (HR) NMIBC. Transurethral resection of the bladder tumour (TURBT) with intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (BCG) or immediate radical cystectomy (RC) are the current gold standard treatment options. The European Association of Urology (EAU) guidelines recommend immediate or delayed RC for HR- and a subgroup of “highest-risk” NMIBC. These cases include pT1, carcinoma in-situ (CIS), multifocal disease, histological variants such as micropapillary and sarcomatoid, and patients who have contraindications to, or have failed with BCG. The comparative risks between maintenance BCG (mBCG) and immediate RC are unclear. However, RC may give patients the best oncological outcome.