An evaluation of monthly maintenance therapy among patients receiving intravesical combination gemcitabine/docetaxel for nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer

Marcus J. Daniels, Emily Barry, Niv Milbar, Mark Schoenberg, Trinity Bivalacqua, Alex Sankin, Max Kates

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: To report our experience with sequential maintenance intravesical gemcitabine/docetaxel (GEM/DOCE) for patients with nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer. Materials and methods: Fifty-nine patients who received full GEM/DOCE for nonmuscle-invasive bladder cancer between 2013 and 2018, per the protocol adapted from University of Iowa, were identified and characterized. Patients were treated with 6 weekly instillations of GEM/DOCE and subsequent monthly maintenance installations for those with no evidence of disease at the first surveillance. Student's t test and χ2 test were used to compare continuous and categorical variables as appropriate. For survival analyses, Kaplan-Meier (KM) curves were created to assess disease-free survival (DFS). Overall comparisons of KM survival analysis were conducted using the Wilcoxon test. Results: Among all patients, median follow-up was 24 months. Sixty-six percent of patients received ≥2 intravesical induction therapies prior to receiving GEM/DOCE. Thirty-one patients (63%) failed ≥2 induction courses of Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) before receiving GEM/DOCE. Overall DFS was 49% at 1 year and 29% at 2 years. For patients who failed ≥1 induction courses of BCG, overall DFS was 48% at 1 year and 32% at 2 years. GEM/DOCE appears to be effective for therapy naïve and patients who have failed previous intravesical therapies (P = 0.39). There were 41 (69.5%) patients who had no evidence of disease at the first surveillance and were eligible for maintenance therapy. Among these patients, 24 were managed with observation alone and 17 with monthly maintenance. Median follow-up for observed patients was 36 months and 26 months for patients with maintenance. DFS at 1 year was 42% for observed patients and 81% for patients receiving maintenance (P = 0.04). DFS at 2 years was 32% for observed patients and 59% for patients receiving maintenance therapy (P = 0.45). For maintenance eligible patients who received ≥1 induction courses of BCG, DFS was 42% for observed patients and 81% for patients receiving maintenance therapy at 1 year and 34% for observed patients and 59% for patients receiving maintenance therapy at 2 years. Pathologic stage at recurrence was similar between observed patients and those receiving maintenance (P = 0.83). KM analyses showed greater DFS for patients receiving maintenance therapy compared to observed patients (P = 0.04). Conclusion: Patients who demonstrate initial complete response to GEM/DOCE may benefit from maintenance GEM/DOCE.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalUrologic Oncology: Seminars and Original Investigations
Publication statusAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019



  • Bladder Cancer
  • Gemcitabine/Docetaxel
  • Oncology
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Urology

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