Toggle Main Menu Toggle Search

Open Access padlockePrints

Radical Cystectomy Against Intravesical BCG for High-Risk High-Grade Nonmuscle Invasive Bladder Cancer: Results From the Randomized Controlled BRAVO-Feasibility Study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Mark Johnson



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


PURPOSE: High-grade nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (HRNMIBC) is a heterogeneous disease. Treatments include intravesical maintenance Bacillus Calmette-Guerin (mBCG) and radical cystectomy (RC). We wanted to understand whether a randomized trial comparing these options was possible. MATERIALS AND METHODS: We conducted a two-arm, prospective multicenter randomized study to determine the feasibility in Bacillus Calmette-Guerin-naive patients. Participants had new high-risk HRNMIBC suitable for both treatments. Random assignment was stratified by age, sex, center, stage, presence of carcinoma in situ, and prior low-risk bladder cancer. Qualitative work investigated how to maintain equipoise. The primary outcome was the number of patients screened, eligible, recruited, and randomly assigned. RESULTS: We screened 407 patients, approached 185, and obtained consent from 51 (27.6%) patients. Of these, one did not proceed and therefore 50 were randomly assigned (1:1). In the mBCG arm, 23/25 (92.0%) patients received mBCG, four had nonmuscle invasive bladder cancer (NMIBC) after induction, three had NMIBC at 4 months, and four received RC. At closure, two patients had metastatic BC. In the RC arm, 20 (80.0%) participants received cystectomy, including five (25.0%) with no tumor, 13 (65.0%) with HRNMIBC, and two (10.0%) with muscle invasion in their specimen. At follow-up, all patients in the RC arm were free of disease. Adverse events were mostly mild and equally distributed (15/23 [65.2%] patients with mBCG and 13/20 [65.0%] patients with RC). The quality of life (QOL) of both arms was broadly similar at 12 months. CONCLUSION: A randomized controlled trial comparing mBCG and RC will be challenging to recruit into. Around 10% of patients with high-risk HRNMIBC have a lethal disease and may be better treated by primary radical treatment. Conversely, many are suitable for bladder preservation and may maintain their prediagnosis QOL.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Catto JWF, Gordon K, Collinson M, Poad H, Twiddy M, Johnson M, Jain S, Chahal R, Simms M, Dooldeniya M, Bell R, Koenig P, Conroy S, Goodwin L, Noon AP, Croft J, Brown JM

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Clinical Oncology

Year: 2021

Volume: 39

Issue: 3

Pages: 202-214

Print publication date: 20/01/2021

Online publication date: 17/12/2020

Acceptance date: 28/10/2020

Date deposited: 31/03/2021

ISSN (print): 0732-183X

ISSN (electronic): 1527-7755

Publisher: American Society of Clinical Oncology


DOI: 10.1200/JCO.20.01665

PubMed id: 33332191


Altmetrics provided by Altmetric


Find at Newcastle University icon    Link to this publication