Impact of sex on response to BCG in non-muscle invasive bladder cancer patients: a contemporary review from a tertiary care center

Kelly K. Bree, Patrick J. Hensley, Nathan Brooks, Justin Matulay, Graciela M. Nogueras-Gonzalez, Neema Navai, Colin P. Dinney, Ashish M. Kamat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Purpose: Female sex has been implicated with higher stage at diagnosis and as a negative prognostic factor amongst patients with non-muscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC). Whether this holds true with contemporary management paradigms is unknown. We analyzed a cohort of patients treated with adequate bacillus Calmette–Guerin (BCG) for NMIBC in an effort to identify sex-specific influence on BCG response. Methods: An IRB-approved review of patients with NMIBC treated at our institution with at least ‘adequate BCG’, as defined by the US FDA and EAU, from 2000 to 2018 was performed. Patients were then stratified by sex and response to BCG. Non-parametric tests were used to summarize the data overall and by groups. The Kaplan–Meier product limit method was used to calculate median survival endpoints. Results: Of the 541 patients treated with adequate BCG, 111 (20.5%) were female and 430 (79.5%) were male. Female patients were younger (median 66 vs. 69, p = 0.071), had a lower BMI (median 27.3 vs. 28.8, p = 0.010) and were more likely to have no smoking history (49.5% vs. 27.0%, p < 0.001). Tumor characteristics with respect to stage, size, multifocality, presence of carcinoma in situ, and presence of variant histology were similar between sexes. While rates of recurrence were higher in females than in males this, was not statistically significant (44.1% vs. 34.7%, p = 0.064) and Kaplan–Meier estimates of recurrence-free, progression-free and overall survival demonstrated no significant difference between sexes (p = 0.409, p = 0.253, p = 0.171, respectively). Conclusion: In a contemporary cohort of patients with NMIBC treated with adequate BCG, female sex was not associated with adverse oncologic outcomes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4143-4149
Number of pages7
JournalWorld Journal of Urology
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2021

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • BCG
  • Bladder cancer
  • Gender
  • Non-muscle invasive bladder cancer

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Urology


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