Andres Llano, Amy Chan, Cynthia Kuk, Wassim Kassouf, Alexandre R. Zlotta

Carcinoma In Situ (CIS): Is There a Difference in Efficacy between Various BCG Strains? A Comprehensive Review of the Literature

  • Cancer Research
  • Oncology

Introduction: Intravesical Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) immunotherapy is the standard of care for high-risk and intermediate-risk non-muscle-invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) as well as for Carcinoma in situ (CIS). Evidence supports that the different BCG strains, despite genetic variability, are equally effective clinically for preventing the recurrence and progression of papillary NMIBC. The available evidence regarding possible differences in clinical efficacy between various BCG strains in CIS is lacking. Methods: We reviewed the literature on the efficacy of different BCG strains in patients with CIS (whether primary, secondary, concomitant, or unifocal/multifocal), including randomized clinical trials (RCTs), phase II/prospective trials, and retrospective studies with complete response rates (CRR), recurrence-free survival (RFS), or progression-free survival (PFS) as endpoints. Results: In most studies, being RCTs, phase II prospective trials, or retrospective studies, genetic differences between BCG strains did not translate into meaningful differences in clinical efficacy against CIS, regardless of the CIS subset (primary, secondary, or concurrent) or CIS focality (unifocal or multifocal). CRR, RFS, and PFS were not statistically different between various BCG strains. None of these trials were designed as head-to-head comparisons between BCG strains focusing specifically on CIS. Limitations include the small sample size of many studies and most comparisons between strains being indirect rather than head-to-head. Conclusions: This review suggests that the clinical efficacy of the various BCG strains appears similar, irrespective of CIS characteristics. However, based on the weak level of evidence available and underpowered studies, randomized studies in this space should be encouraged as no definitive conclusion can be drawn at this stage.

Need a simple solution for managing your BibTeX entries? Explore CiteDrive!

  • Web-based, modern reference management
  • Collaborate and share with fellow researchers
  • Integration with Overleaf
  • Comprehensive BibTeX/BibLaTeX support
  • Save articles and websites directly from your browser
  • Search for new articles from a database of tens of millions of references
Try out CiteDrive

More from our Archive