Urology Research: How Intravesical Chemotherapy is Given After TURBT


Daniel Lee, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania

The following real-world data analysis of the American Urological Association AUA Quality Registry (AQUA) was featured in the September 2021 issue of AUANews. More real-world urologic research leveraging the AQUA network of more than 2,000 healthcare providers, nearly 8 million patients, and 8 years of longitudinal data can be found here

AQUA Registry Data Snapshot: How Has the Utilization of Intravesical Chemotherapy after TURBT Changed over time?

By: Daniel Lee, MD, MS, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia

The recurrence rates for nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) can be as high as 70%. Meta-analyses have shown that giving intravesical chemotherapy within 24 hours of transurethral resection of bladder tumor (TURBT) can improve the recurrence-free survival rate by 38%. However, survey studies have found that compliance rates for postoperative administration can be as low as 20%–30%. Real-world evidence of national practice patterns are lacking.

Verana Health, the data partner of the AUA Quality (AQUA) Registry, evaluated how intravesical chemotherapy is given after TURBT in a nationwide registry. AQUA Registry data were used to measure the rate of intravesical administration of gemcitabine or mitomycin C within 24 hours of the initial TURBT date. An evaluation of 206 practices from January 2015 to December 2020 found very low utilization rates of post-TURBT intravesical chemotherapy.

Over the 5-year period, 3.1% of initial TURBT cases received intravesical chemotherapy (see figure). In 2015, the rate was 0.9%, which increased to 6.5% in 2020. The decreased number of TURBT overall in 2020 reflected what was seen during the COVID pandemic. This represents a very low percentage for what is considered an established guideline for NMIBC care. Further investigation is needed to find ways to potentially improve this rate among practices participating in the AQUA Registry.

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