Intravesical combination chemotherapy with mitomycin C and doxorubicin for superficial bladder cancer: a randomized trial of maintenance versus no maintenance following a complete response
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Between November 1986 and April 1989, 101 patients with superficial bladder cancer were treated with intravesical instillations of mitomycin C on day 1 and doxorubicin on day 2 of each week for 5 consecutive weeks. Of 61 complete responders, 23 patients with carcinoma in situ and 28 with papillary cancer were randomly assigned to a non-maintenance group or to a group receiving maintenance therapy consisting of monthly instillations of the same drugs for 12 months. The 2-year non-recurrence rate calculated for patients with carcinoma in situ was significantly better in the maintenance group than in the non-maintenance group. A similar tendency was observed for patients with papillary cancer, although the difference was not significant. Side effects were considerable, with moderate to severe bladder irritation occurring in approximately half of the patients. In addition to our previous findings, the present results indicate that this intravesical combination chemotherapy is effective in eliminating superficial bladder cancers and that since the effect is not durable, even in complete responders, maintenance therapy is necessary to reduce subsequent tumor recurrence.